Mexico's plastics industry is taking action to combat criminal gangs that steal an estimated 2.2 million pounds of resins from trucks on the country's highways every year.
The gangs operate across Mexico and sell their spoils on the black market, according to Eduardo Martínez Hernandez, president of the association, known as Anipac (Asociacón Nacional de Industrias del Plastico AC).
In mid-May Anipac sent questionnaires to all its members asking for details of any attacks they've suffered in the past two years. The information received will be included in a monthly Security Bulletin, to be published by Anipac.
There's been a resins black market in Mexico for many years, Martínez told Plastics News. Gangs attack the trucks and steal the resins. It happens every month.
The association, he said, is trying to identify the areas of the country where most of the attacks occur and to quantify the amounts stolen. It may be as much as [2.2 million pounds] a year, he said.
Anipac established a so-called security commission, organized by the country's resin suppliers, a year ago.
Martínez also believes Anipac negotiators are making headway in their talks with the Mexico City congress, which last year voted in favor of banning plastic bags from all the capital's commercial establishments beginning Aug. 18.
The association has been trying to get the extent of the ban reduced.
In another move, aimed at improving the industry's image, Anipac is looking for a clown to explain plastic's positive aspects to primary school children.
Martínez said the plan is for the clown to visit different schools each day.
It will be an ongoing program. If we had done this many years ago, maybe the image of plastic in Mexico would be better, he said.
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