PBA (Plastic Bag Association) DESERVES SOME CREDIT
Clare Goldberry's Perspective of May 15 ("Paper prices put plastics in vogue") is right on target when she admits she says at the grocery check-out counter, "Plastic is fantastic!" She's also partially right when she ponders thanking the contributions of the "American Plastics Council and its prime-time commercials" for helping change consumer and retailer behavior in answering the question, "Do you want a paper or plastic bag?"
To set the record straight, however, it was the Plastic Bag Association's grass-roots mobilization of processors that confronted the effective legacy of the old American Paper Institute's plastics-bashing and the animus of certain environmental and "public interest" groups. Through its members working together closely, efficiently and urgently, PBA has spread the word about the environmental benefits of plastic bags through a combination of public relations and education programs. To be sure, APC has been a friend in some of these endeavors.
Although perhaps viewed in some ivory towers as a small segment of the plastics industry - and a segment that is commodity resin and nonmolding-based - plastic bags have been in the heat of the controversy and at the head of the entire plastics industry charge in defending and promoting the truths and benefits of plastics for close to a decade. PBA deserves considerable credit for pushing the change in attitudes. The answer to the great mystery of life of the 1980s and '90s is, "Damn right I want a plastic bag!"
George A. Makrauer
RESPONSE TO "PBA DESERVES SOME CREDIT"
Although you may agree, the public isn't so willing. It will only be convinced upon real evidence that the industry is acting responsibly. Your efforts in water-based ink development are a clear contribution to that evidence.
Walter E. Cornell
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