I wish scrap prices were as high as they were [during] the better part of 2008, but, as I reported at the recent Plastics Recycling Conference in Orlando, Fla., the price for clean, clear film is closer to 12 cents per pound. Your March 9 [Page 4] article Film, bag collections on rise is incorrect on a number of points:
* The increase in recovery in 2007 vs. 2006 was only 2.23 percent, which begs the question: Why? With recycling mandates for retailers and high scrap prices, one would have expected higher recovery.
* While the story quoted me as saying, manufacturers are using less material and retailers distributing fewer bags, what I explained was that gathering accurate data was more difficult because of the shift from domestic buyers dominating the marketplace in 2006 to exporters dominating in 2007.
* We likely did not capture all the material exported in 2007. Domestic processors purchased less, but that doesn't necessarily mean they manufactured less: Some reported that they used existing inventory to avoid high scrap prices.
Even though we're in a period of low prices, we need to continue to grow the collection infrastructure. Gone are the days of decent margins, when haulers and handlers could pick up loose material and make a buck.
Quality pays! So let's use the existing collection infrastructure that big retailers provide, or piggyback on fiber collection, but please don't threaten the recycling stream with degradables.
Nina Bellucci Butler
Moore Recycling Associates