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[greenyes] RE: APR issues historic statement on deposit laws revisited


RE: APR issues historic statement on deposit laws

Last Friday CRI sent an email to this list serve with what appeared to be a
"new" position taken by the Association for Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers
(APR) on deposit legislation. The subject line of the email read: "APR
issues historic statement on deposit laws." We learned yesterday from an APR
board member that this position statement was actually released on
6/01/2002, and that the date was inadvertently changed on Friday to
12/17/2004 while the website was being updated. They have since corrected
this error.

We apologize for any inconvenience and/or confusion this may have caused.
The point is, when this position was released to the public in June 2002, it
WAS historic. The APR had shied away from even mentioning deposit
legislation, for fear of retribution from Coke and Pepsi. It is the
beverage bottlers who not only supply some APR members with PET bottles from
deposit states, but also buy bottles from APR members.

The important thing to understand is that the PET plastic bottle recycling
industry was in a state of crisis 18 months ago, when this position was made
public, and it is still in a state of crisis. Reclaimers cannot get the
supply of plastic bottles they need to grow their business, and some may go
out of business (as AMCOR did a few months ago) if the volume and quality of
PET is not increased. (See story in our Summer Newsletter titlted "Plastic
bottle recycling on the ropes" at:
http://www.container-recycling.org/newsletters/SummerfFall2004/index.html
The recycling infrastructure is strong, but it is in danger of collapsing,
if the collection infrastructure is not strengthened.

Several excerpts from APR's June 2002 position paper bare repeating:

". . . for our industry to grow we need to dramatically increase the volume
of plastic that can reasonably be recycled back into a marketable product.
To be successful, we must strongly support increased supply of bottles while
simultaneously protecting the quality of the stream of collected bottles. .
. Whatever methodology provides the greatest volume of recyclable plastic
with the minimal contamination should be comprehensively developed. . ."

These excerpted statements stop short of saying that PET bottles collected
through deposit systems provide the greatest volume of recyclable PET
plastic with minimal contamination, but it is a fact. That's why a higher
price is paid for PET bottles collected through deposit systems. If you
read between the lines of this position statement I think you will see that
the members of this trade association know that deposit laws provide them
with the quantity and quality of PET they need, and that they would welcome
new and expanded deposit laws.

In case you missed the email on Friday, here's APR's June 2002 "Position
Regarding Deposit Legislation."


POSITION REGARDING DEPOSIT LEGISLATION
(06/01/2002)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----
The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) represents over 90%
of the post-consumer plastics recycling capacity in North America. APR
members, as purchasers, recyclers and reclaimers of collected plastic
bottles, are radically affected by every promulgation, repeal or amendment
of a state?s "container deposit legislation" or "bottle deposit system".

APR neither supports nor condemns the judgment of any state to have or not
have bottle redemption or deposit legislation. The conditions that motivate
a state to adopt or repeal a bottle redemption program are exclusively the
domain of that state. It is logical, however, for legislative
decision-makers to listen to the segment of industry that will ultimately
receive and process the plastic recyclables generated by the consequences of
legislation.

Our motivation is simple; for our industry to grow we need to dramatically
increase the volume of plastic that can reasonably be recycled back into a
marketable product. To be successful, we must strongly support increased
supply of bottles while simultaneously protecting the quality of the stream
of collected bottles. This is not a simple task. If containers collected for
recycling are manufactured from less recyclable plastics or contain hostile
residue contaminants, not only are the containers not recycled, but they may
render otherwise good bottles as un-recyclable. If the recycling
infrastructure for landfill-diverted materials cannot deal with the quality
of collected materials economically, the material ultimately will be hauled
back to a landfill at added citizen expense.

As recycling is a business, both material supply and demand must constantly
be nurtured. Currently the recycling capacity for PET and HDPE greatly
exceeds the volumes being collected. Whatever methodology provides the
greatest volume of recyclable plastic with the minimal contamination should
be comprehensively developed. This advancement requires a cooperative effort
from all parties with standing, including the food and packaging industry,
the environmental community, the recycling industry, and government. A
cooperative program that divides responsibilities and respects needs is
essential to the long-term satisfaction of all parties.

As the domestic plastics reclamation community, we volunteer to actively
participate in legitimate forums to exchange ideas, experience and knowledge
to determine which recycling alternatives are reasonable and which are
counterproductive. Our challenge is finding sustainable answers that meet
diverse needs. Getting essential participants into the same conversation is
the first step.



****************************************
Patricia Franklin
Executive Director
PLEASE NOTE NEW MAILING ADDRESS FOR CRI
Container Recycling Institute
1601 North Kent Street, Suite 803
Arlington, VA 22209-2105
TEL: 703.276.9800
FAX: 703.276.9587
EMAIL: pfranklin@no.address
http://www.container-recycling.org
http://www.bottlebill.info








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