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Re: [greenyes] PVC

In response to my earlier posting about the good many companies are doing
responding to consumer pressure to remove PVC and substitute less baneful
resins, Bruce Maine asks that, even when the inherent problems with PVC are
understood, everything still should be done to insure what remains out there
is recycled or otherwise it will wind up in the incinerator or landfill.

I'm not so sure that it's all that simple.

First, while theoretically anything can be recycled, some things will incur
enormous costs to do so. Recycling PVC bottles, as we've established in a
lengthy report that I can send anyone who'd like to see it, is ruinously
expensive, to the extent that attempting the effort will ultimately
undermine the economics of PET recycling which 25 times more dominant in the
bottle marketplace. PVC in carpet backing, which would effectively destroy
recycling of the dominant carpet facing is another example.

Clearly, I think that most of us would agree that PVC recycling ought not be
pursued in cases such as these notwithstanding the fact that this means that
PVC will be buried or burned.

Second, even if there were markets in which PVC recycling could be done
economically without destroying recycling of other more important, and
prevalent, resin substitutes, even then there are isssues to consider. That
is the fact that were recycling in fact established, that would be used in a
form of greenwashing to obscrue the health and safety issues to the point
that continuing pressure to phase out PVC for less harmful substitutes would
be defeated.

Although here the issue is not so black and white, it does raise serious
concerns to be factored into the decision.

I am NOT an adherent of recycling uber alis, and I believe that these
considerations ought not be ignored.

Peter Anderson, President
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705-4964
Ph: (608) 231-1100
Fax: (608) 233-0011
Cell: (608) 698-1314
eMail: anderson@no.address

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