PN recycling story takes negative slant
I am deeply dismayed by the negative spin placed upon your ``The funk over junk'' article on Page 1 of the May 21 issue dedicated to recycling.
As an employee of largest plastics recycler in the United States, I had hoped you would focus on the positive things I had to say about our position in the industry: KW Plastics prevents 300 million pounds of plastic from entering landfills, our rapid growth in the automotive markets, our ability to offer our customers value by creating 100 percent post-consumer products that perform as well as virgin materials at a lower cost and our continued successful partnership with Ford Motor Co. We are certainly not alone in this endeavor. There are a great number of recyclers who continue to grow in spite of the latest market downturn.
However, you chose to paint a bleak picture, as the media always seems to do. Rather than mention KW Plastics' success story in growing our business in the face of turmoil in the automotive industry, you chose to single out pricing as the sole means for survival. Rather than discussing Ford's tremendous foresight and willingness to work with companies like KW, you chose to focus on the ``lack of markets'' and the need for recyclers to ``cope with cutbacks.''
I didn't expect a PR article for my company and I don't deny that pricing is a critical issue. However, a constructive and accurate approach to covering a key area of the automotive plastics industry would seem logical when you devoted an entire issue to the subject. The recycling industry will experience explosive growth in these tough times. We are not just ``surviving.'' Recyclers are flourishing, and you should write about that.
KW Plastics/Recycling Division
APC, SPI marriage healthy, necessary
Maybe Lewis Freeman's letter will wake us up to deal with the basic competitive relationship between plastics processors (Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.) and resin suppliers (American Plastics Council), which has to do with money. (``Former SPI lobbyist says group is eroding,'' May 14, Page 18.) I wrote you on this more than two years ago, saying: ``Prices go down, they [APC] cry and processors applaud. Prices go up, vice versa. Sounds like taxes, but our economy works. This rhythm is the breathing of business life. Without it, we're all dead.''
I also said that the marriage of such competitive interests can be and should be achieved. We do it all the time, among siblings at home, between spouses, in sports leagues and in Congress. The very basis of the U.S.A. is ``e pluribus unum,'' which means ``out of many, One.'' Those words are on our money, too, and before the resin suppliers (whom I hold responsible for the split) crow too loudly about gaining their ``independence,'' they might well remember that the processors are their customers, that's where their money comes from and a healthier SPI means more profit to APC members. It might even make sense for APC to subsidize SPI, especially its legislative efforts, just as the federal government ``subsidizes'' education, road-building and Medicare, because it will lead to a healthier plastics industry.
Allan L. Griff