(no subject)

RJ Herman (rjh1@christa.unh.edu)
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:55:06 -0500

To the editor:
I just realized I sent you a copy of RECYCLING ALERT that wasn't put
through spell check. If it's not too much trouble, please exchange the
previous copy for the following one, which has been edited. Thankyou!
April 22, 1997

The enclosed Recycling Alert article was written and prepared
by the College and University Recycling Council
in response to the a lack of Environmental concern about
Please print this article in your student newspaper tto inform
the student body, your readers of the excesses of industry in
the search for profit t the cost of our environment.


Students, Faculty, and Staff should be aware of an impending
Recycling and Environmental debacle which can be addressed by you
as individuals. This debacle is the steadily increasing use of virgin
PLASTIC in soda, juice and water beverage containers. This increased
use of virgin plastic is replacing recycled aluminum, glass, and steel

The facts are as follows: Aluminum, steel and glass containers are
recycled daily and enjoy a reasonably stable secondary market. This is
the result of commitments by those respective industries to reduce
energy use and their impacts on the environment. Through each
purchase of a beverage, packaged in aluminum containing 70% post
consumer content or glass containing 40% post consumer content, you
help to support the recycling of that container and the recycling industry.
Additionally you help close the recycling loop. By purchasing and
recycling of that container you ensure that the container is used as feed
stock for it's re manufacture. (And lower pollution, minimize the need for
new landfills, and support efficient use of resources and clean
industry?) This is what Recycling is all about.

However PLASTIC does not enjoy the same secondary market support
as does aluminum and glass. In fact, by not using any post consumer
content in the production of container plastics, plastic manufacturers
demonstrate disdain and disregard for consumers, recycling, and the

By excluding the secondary or post consumer recycled content
market,plastic packages are crushing markets for recycled plastics.
recycling. This leads to hidden cost to the consumer in increased waste
and continued environmental degradation. Current information from the
American Plastics Council and the Institute for Local Self Reliance
indicate that there is No post consumer or recycled content in plastic
beverage containers manufactured in the USA, in spite of Food and Drug
Administration's unilateral allowance for post consumer content

To illustrate this point, just three years ago Coca-Cola was using 25%
post consumer content in their containers. The stoppage in the practice
of using recycled content has become an issue of price and profit. As a
result the current manufacturing of plastic containers uses only virgin
plastic feed stock currently costing less than post consumer or recycled
plastic. Coca-Cola has abandoned their commitment to recycling and the
consumer by not using post consumer content in it's containers.

P. 2

You as the consumer do not realize a savings but instead subsidize
inexpensive environmentally offensive packaging and its disposal rather
than recycling. Of course Coca-Cola is realizing a savings in production
costs and the additional profit as the result of your purchase costs.
Coca-Cola has decided that it is not worth investing in recycling or the
planet's future by using virgin plastic containers and allowing you the
consumer to finance their profitable decision against recycling and
environmental concern.

In addition, Coca-Cola and all major bottlers have voiced a commitment to
continue the use of virgin plastic in favor of highly recyclable aluminum
and glass containers. The end result is a dead end for recovered plastic
bottles which can only be down cycled into lower grade plastic items.
As the direct result of the beverage industries' anti-recycling policy, the
current market for recycled plastic is dying at best, with little hope for the
future. This leaves the plastic manufacturers in a very profitable and
controlling position while ensuring increased waste and environmental
degradation. As the cost for recycling plastics increases in a shrinking
market, more plastic is destined for landfills and incinerators. This trend
directly effects your University Recycling program not to mention having
devastating effects on the environment as well. The increase in plastic
containers has reduced the quantity of aluminum and glass containers
collected by your recycling program. This in turn reduces the income
your program generates to help fund and justify your program while
increasing the costs of your waste disposal.

Please help to stop this assault on recycling by not buying beverages
packaged in plastic. Make it known to your University Administration,
University Store, Food Service Supplier, Student Store and outside
businesses that you want and will only purchase beverages packaged
in aluminum and glass (Post Consumer Content/Recycled Containers).
Let Coke, Pepsi and other bottlers know of your desire for them to be
environmentally responsible through changes in your buying habits, calls
and letters. Please help to continue the progress your Recycling program
has made by challenging those who disregard the vitality of the planet
this day, Earth Day and every day.

The College and University Recycling Council

For further information about CURC see our WEB page at:

R.J. Herman
Recycling Coordinator
University of New Hampshire
Grounds and Roads Dept.
21 Waterworks Rd.
U niversity of New Hampshire
Durham, NH 03824-3519
PHONE: (603) 862-3100
FAX: (603) 862-0139
E-MAIL: rjh1@christa.unh.edu

UNH Information: