APR wrestles with bottle-bill language
ARLINGTON, VA. - Plans by the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers to develop a lobbying position on how to boost recycling have hit a snag, although the group said it is continuing its work.
Several sources at the group's late-June board meeting in Seattle said the effort to craft a policy statement proved controversial because of language related to bottle bills.
One source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Arlington-based group had considered language saying that ``the most effective way to increase the recycling rate has been shown to be through the enactment of state bottle-deposit laws. In those jurisdictions with redemption plans, the recycling rate typically exceeds 70 percent. APR strongly supports any initiatives that will result in an increase in the recycling rate, including existing and innovative collection methodologies.''
The source said that language was changed because some APR recycling companies were reluctant to publicly challenge soft drink companies, which oppose container deposits and are members of APR. Recyclers sell material to soft drink companies, and soft drink bottlers in some states control the supply of recycled bottles that recyclers need for raw material, the source said.
A second source said APR toned down that language, but said it was done because APR always has said it was open to anything that boosts recycling and did not want to make it appear that ``deposits were the front line of attack.''
Steve Navedo, APR vice chairman, declined to comment, saying the discussion was confidential.
Robin Cotchan, APR director, said the group still is studying a report from a government relations consultant, and hopes to adopt a lobbying program at its next board meeting, in October. APR officials previously said the group was not sure if the new campaign would address bottle bills.
Mega Plastics adds W&H blown film line
CLINTON, MASS. - Mega Plastics Inc., a film processor in Clinton, has purchased a three-layer blown film extrusion line to help fill its expanded facility and keep up with the company's rapid growth.
Dave Clarke, vice president and general manager, said the line, a 63-inch Varex from Windmoeller & Hoelscher, produces better quality, production rates and control, and less scrap than Mega's five other lines.
Last July, Mega began a $5.5 million expansion to add 28,000 square feet to the Clinton plant, giving it a total of 58,000 square feet. The firm extrudes high density polyethylene film and much of its business comes from the seafood and poultry markets.
``Growth has been phenomenal,'' Clarke said in a telephone interview, citing growth of 22-23 percent this year. He said he expects sales of $15 million for 2004. Mega posted sales of $10 million in 2003 and has grown from $6.4 million in 2000.
Mega also has upgraded its materials-handling system by installing computer controls and has added silos.
``It's a different company than it was three years ago, that's for sure,'' Clarke said.
Mega Plastics was formed in 1996. Clarke is a co-owner, along with Greg McNeely, Wayne Davis and Shannon Watts. The company currently employs 65, twice the workforce of 2000.
Packaging Group moves U.S. operation
CONCORD, ONTARIO - Packaging Group, a Canadian maker of bags and vacuum pouches, has relocated its U.S. facility from New Jersey to Pennsylvania.
The Concord company completed the move in June to a 140,000-square-foot plant in Colebrookdale Township, Pa., said Ed Swoyer, executive director of the Greater Berks Development Fund in nearby Reading, Pa.
The bag maker shifted about a dozen employees from its smaller facility in Garfield, N.J., and has 65 workers in Colebrookdale, according to local media reports. The company already is considering expanding those numbers, Swoyer said.
The Colebrookdale plant had been owned by Alcoa Flexible Packaging and its Boyertown Packaging unit, Swoyer said. The facility closed in October 2002 and was purchased by Packaging Group in March 2003. The site easily can be doubled in size, Swoyer said.
The company extrudes its own film and prints and laminates bags and pouches at the Pennsylvania site.