Concerns raised over plastic waste

Editor’s note: this letter refers to an article, “Council approves tax abatement,” that appeared in the Troy Daily News on Dec. 8, regarding a tax abatement for Gateway Plastics.

To the Editor:

Could you please provide some more detail about which plastic(s) they intend to use? Thirty rail cars a month is a huge amount of feed-stock, especially if it is something potentially dangerous, such as liquid Styrene. You did not specify which plastic they will use.

Common types on the market now are PETE (type 1) and HDPE (type 2) which are both Polyethylenes (PE), C2H4 PP (type 5) is Polypropylene C3H6 PS ( type 6 ) is Polystyrene, which is often sold as a foam (EPS).

My main concern with plastic throw-away containers is that they have NO scrap value, whatever, to the retail customer of whatever was sold in the containers. You pay to buy the container full of product, then pay AGAIN to have a trash hauler get rid of the plastic container you are now done with.

Recyclable is not the same as valuable, or saleable, although the plastic retailers do not wish you to think about that — they just want to sell you 1,000 more copies to throw away.

Plastics is a huge category, as is metals. Gold and lead and rusty sheet steel are all metals. Brass and gold are very similar, soft and yellow and heavy. Which would you accept for a wedding ring?

If Gateway Plastics plans to manufacture Styrofoam containers, I would be even more concerned, both due to the safety concerns that the local Fire Department must address, and due to the fact that Styrofoam is the main culprit among wind-blown litter that is literally everywhere you look, every curb and ditch and pond and river. I have participated in many litter clean-ups over the years.

— Thomas Tweed

West Milton