On behalf of the Vinyl Institute, I'd like to respond to the article "Author, activist Terry proposes big steps" [Jan. 21, Page 12]. While we agree it is important to monitor our consumption of all precious resources, the use of plastic, including vinyl, has a significant positive impact on our overall quality of life.
To many, plastic is most often associated with grocery bags or drink bottles, but plastic goes way beyond the typical consumer products used every day. Vinyl is the world's most versatile plastic, found in everything from medical products to flooring, roofing, siding, windows and many more life-saving and energy-efficient uses. Plastic or vinyl can also be processed to be rigid, flexible or semi-liquid; thick or thin; or clear or opaque, in almost any color. It's durable, cost-efficient, clean, safe and, when the full life cycle is considered, far more favorable than "regrettable substitutions."
Additionally, it is one of the few materials meeting the stringent National Fire Protection Association requirements for insulating cables, including in plenum uses.
While we appreciate Beth Terry's desire to minimize her use of plastics in her daily life, we respectfully submit that there are better ways to protect our environment. Through increased recycling and more effective re-
source management across all materials, society will be better positioned to address the needs of current and future generations.
Vinyl is estimated to save North American consumers $20 billion annually compared with using competing materials. The Vinyl Institute will continue to serve as an advocate for the responsible use and recycling of plastic and vinyl. I invite readers to learn more by visiting www.vinylinfo.org.
The Vinyl Institute