VI working to build recycling framework
We agree with [staff reporter] Rhoda Miel that the North American vinyl and plastics industries need to be proactive on the environment [``Time to get green while gettin's good,'' Viewpoint, Nov. 17, Page 6.] But where did she get the idea that the lack of government pressure gave us ``an excuse to avoid'' action?
The U.S. vinyl industry was one of the first to recognize that hand sorting is not economically feasible for large-scale recycling of packaging materials. We were at the forefront in helping to develop technologies that allow plastics to be separated automatically.
We recently put funding into a European feedstock recycling program that would take vinyl building and other products back to their chemical constituents. That research continues in Japan.
VI has also supported growth plans of individual recyclers. Our vinyl recycling database of some 280 processors and manufacturers (accessible at www.vinyl info.org) is partly an outgrowth of this support.
VI contributes importantly to building a recycling infrastructure. Millions of pounds of post-consumer vinyl are recycled each year along with more than 1 billion pounds of post-industrial vinyl.
Finally, recycling tells only part of the story. Vinyl resin makers practice stewardship. They have worked consistently over time to reduce emissions and support their communities through improved operations, outside advisory panels, open houses and events such as blood drives. U.S. dioxin emissions have been falling for decades, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. They are down more than 90 percent just since the late 1980s, during which time vinyl production tripled.
Plastics News has been writing about vinyl recycling for more than 15 years. We've been working on it that long. A trip to our online database of vinyl recyclers would have provided evidence of that work and made for a better story. And, while we're not where we'd like to be, we continue to work to improve.
Money must matter
more than innovation
[Regarding ``Processors must chase innovation,'' Dec. 8, Page 1]: My firm is a very small injection molder that has tried ISO certification, modern methods, innovative and new equipment. However, we still can't get a foot in the door to compete with the China connection.
Fortunately we acquired a product line that allows us to sell worldwide. But as long as OEMs are looking for cheap instead of value, we could be offering molding for next to free and still not be given the opportunity to quote new business.
Innovation takes money. If there is no opportunity for new business, we could be innovative till hell freezes over and still have nothing to show for it. As long as we are penalized by our government through regulations, we can never compete.
It all comes down to who tangles the dollars, wins the prize, and I won't go there.
Robson Co. Inc.