'Buy recycled' needs backing of business
Having read the recent story regarding the closing of Obex Inc. [``Recycler, extruder Obex closing up shop,'' Feb. 23, Page 4], I felt compelled to write Plastics News to share my experiences in the recycled-content product markets the last 12 years.
We manufacture a line of auto accessories and industrial spill-containment trays made from recycled/reprocessed high density polyethylene. Our marketing goals were to present a line of quality, value-added, durable products that can, in many cases, be used for environmental protection, that just happened to be made from recycled/reprocessed resin. Though success has been limited, to say the least, our products have met our goals.
The press has been very good to our company. Many magazines, both consumer and trade, have printed press releases and done small stories on our products. The Tampa, Fla., CBS affiliate aired a news piece on our company. CNN did a story on us that ran on all its channels for a week. Parade magazine referred to us in a story on recycling. In spite of all of the publicity, business interest has been lacking.
In 2000, we received the first ``Creative Use'' award from the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, yet no APR member companies have shown any interest in working with us to build markets for a our products. We were part of a group of Florida plastics processors who set up a small expo in the courtyard of the state capitol. Yet, even with advance notice, no one from the state purchasing group came down to view our products. We have received nothing but resistance and apathy from the automakers to whom we have shown our products and marketing concept.
This letter is not intended as a ``woe is me'' sympathy plea. From what I continue to see, my specific experience mirrors the condition of the recycled-content industry in general.
I am left with two questions: Where are the ``buy recycled'' initiatives? Is the ``buy recycled'' campaign merely another topic that has a great deal of symbolism with little substance?
Pro-form Technologies Inc.
Museum's PlastiVans drive home message
Don Loepp's March 22 article ``Some really bad ideas just won't go away'' discusses why people continue to call for banning plastics. These themes are familiar to those of us involved with the National Plastics Center & Museum.
The No. 1 mission of NPCM is to educate K-12 students about the importance of plastics in modern life.
NPCM has three PlastiVans on the road all of the time going into classrooms all over the country teaching and demonstrating to K-12 students about medical, automotive, packaging, computer and telecommunication products that in this global economy can only be economically made of plastics. Our NPCM talented educators also discuss recycling, environmental issues and other concerns with the teachers and kids.
Hopefully, NPCM is making a difference with kids who will be able to give answers to those ``really bad ideas that just won't go away.''
Gordon B. Lankton