Eduardo Martínez Hernandez has been elected president of Mexico's national plastics industry association, Anipac, promising to improve the public face of plastics and persuade the sector in Mexico to pull together.
I'm not saying [the sector] has been divided, Martínez said minutes after beating the incumbent, Guillermo Salas Valdéz, in a two-horse race April 15.
But, referring to what he considers the indifference of many in the sector, he said: They're not interested in what is happening in the industry. All the companies are working alone and they don't see the advantage of being part of an association.
He added that, by uniting, those in the Mexican plastics industry can build a bigger market in which to compete. [But] we really need members to work harder, he said.
Salas, who was president for two years, lost his bid for re-election after a secret ballot among the 60 or so members who attended the meeting in a Mexico City hotel.
Anipac, which stands for the Asociacón Nacional de Industrias del Plastico AC, did not reveal Martínez's margin of victory.
Praised and applauded during the event for two years of hard work, Salas received little support from a good number of the 15 other board members, said Martínez, who is director of plastic resins distributor Plastisor SA de CV of Mexico City.
Many times people accept a position on the board but they never go the meetings. That's what happened here. There was not enough consistency and there were few people who were working. Many had personal or company problems and little by little very few of them were working on Anipac issues.
Salas, who owns a machinery importing company Industrias Plasticas Maximo SA de CV in Cuautitlan, near Mexico City said in February that other members had persuaded him to run for re-election so he could continue trying to convince Mexico City legislators to soften their anti-plastics attitude.
Lawmakers have passed legislation banning plastic bags and other packaging from all commercial outlets in Mexico City beginning this summer unless they contain biodegradable properties. Half-a-dozen other states are considering similar measures. Salas and others in Anipac believe that efficient recycling is the best way of managing waste.
Asked what he thought would happen to the legislation now that he was no longer president, Salas said, I don't know. I had been making great progress with the legislators, which is why I decided to run for president again.
Martínez, who was one of Salas' vice presidents, said of the legislation: I'm not sure that we can stop it. But we can guide it so that it's not harmful to the industry. It's a continuous job and we'll have to work with the government and society forever. It's not a two-week job. It's for life.
He said Salas has agreed to be a board commissioner or adviser.
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