Unfortunately, it is necessary to respond to George Makrauer's overstated opinion in the Oct. 4 Mailbag piece concerning Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers matters [``Government, taxes won't help recycling,'' Page 6] during its own meeting. His diatribe is off-target at so many levels, one wonders what his true motivation must be.
* Comprehensive discussions during an APR meeting to address the declining recycling rate are specifically appropriate to support the needs of APR reclaimer members and the post-consumer plastic recycling industry. There is nothing clandestine or sinister as Mr. Makrauer insinuates.
* The statement regarding the effectiveness of bottle-deposit laws that Mr. Makrauer finds so offensive was never endorsed by the association; it was a non-APR-approved statement presented to the members for their consideration by an independent agency. The comment was democratically removed by the membership from APR's final statement.
* Mr. Makrauer makes the fictitious allegation that APR is looking for government help to fix a sales problem. ``The problem is supply, Mr. Makrauer, not sales.'' We do have customers that require recycled content in their plastic packaging and bottles, and the supply shortage is making it more difficult than ever to provide them with an affordable feedstock.
* Regrettably, his cynical request for membership must be declined. Membership requirements mandate applicants actually have a direct business stake in the recycling of post-consumer plastics.
The challenges facing our industry today are multifaceted and genuine. The supply dilemma is the most difficult problem of all, especially for an industry association trying to satisfy a variety of stakeholders. To be criticized for having practical discussions within your own membership to help resolve the problem, is unfair and counterproductive. Now more than ever, we must do what we can to ensure the survival and integrity of the industry, before it disappears and leaves Mr. Makrauer with one less thing to rant about.
Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers