General Motors leaving the Plastics Industry Association never should have happened. ("GM leaves plastics association, making fourth big exit this year," Nov. 11, Page 3.) GM joining PIA never should have happened in the first place. Nor should have the other three big brands that already exited this year.
How and when the brands were recruited would expose a revealing set of discussions. The association's mission statement assures prospective members: "We work to change the public's perceptions about plastics." Does anyone working in the industry even remotely think that any brands give one hoot about creating growth for the industry? When plastic products get banned, taxed or otherwise penalized, a brand — every brand — will simply switch to glass, aluminum, paper or some other previously disrupted material.
Who, then, and how, then, did the brands get sucked into becoming members of the association? My educated guess is the staff invited them by pushing a rationale that the brands would help, if not be essential, in fostering business growth for the industry by helping fight the mushrooming worldwide animus against things plastic.
My additional educated guess — having seen this with some other associations — is the brands saw this as a wonderful opportunity for them to get their noses under the tent and influence the association for the benefit of the brands, not to create new plastics industry business growth. When that proved fruitless, if not backfire harmfully to the brands, it was logically time for brands to bail out.
George A. Makrauer
CEO, Comad Group
The Villages, Fla.