A week ago, I wrote about the critical need for help -- in the form of portable toilets -- following the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand, on Feb. 22. The appeal came from Bill Carteaux, president and CEO of the U.S.-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., who has been in touch with Simon Wilkinson, his counterpart at Plastics New Zealand. Although the earthquake is already starting to slip off U.S. news coverage, the situation remains critical -- and it will remain so for a long time. According to Wilkinson, the public sewage system in the impacted area of Christchurch may not be operable for more than a year. To get a better feel for the urgency of the effort, check this story, "Christchurch earthquake: Battle of Port-a-loos in dusty suburbs," from the New Zealand Herald. To help out, SPI is heading an industry-wide effort to produce and ship 4,000 portable toilets to New Zealand. According to a follow-up letter this week from Carteaux, one portable toilet manufacturer has already offered to manufacture and ship 50 units at no cost. Now SPI is appealing for $1.5 million in donations by the next week -- in cash donations and in-kind contributions of resin and colorant -- to help meet the 4,000-unit goal. To donate, or for more information, visit SPI's "Future of Plastics" web page, or contact SPI at (202) 974-5224.
Help still needed in New Zealand
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