Solid Waste & Recycling


Our Top Letters (May 01, 2005)

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Ontario Blue Box Efficiency

(February/March 2005 edition)

Dear Editor,

The Environment and Plastics Industry Council (EPIC) would like to clarify a statement that appeared in the February/March 2005 issue of Solid Waste & Recycling. The article entitled “Ontario Blue Box Efficiency” made mention of the fact that the Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) Computer Model is supported by both Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and Environment Canada. The article was in no way intended to imply that either NRCan or Environment Canada officially endorses the ISWM Model itself. We apologize for any inconvenience this may caused.


Cathy Cirko

Director General, EPIC

The Shipping News article

(February/March 2005 edition)

Dear Editor,

We write in response to the Buckhorn “article” promoting plastic crates in your February/March issue (Plastic vs. corrugated produce shipping).

The author seems to have missed the glaring disclaimer in the preface of the study he quotes so much: “In analyzing and presenting the results of this LCI study, the report makes no claims regarding the superiority or equivalence of the container systems studied… The authors discourage the use of this study as the sole basis for comparative assertions of environmental superiority or preferability.” (italics added).

The authors of the study state another reason why comparative assertions cannot be made. Their study does not meet ISO 14040 standards (which require peer review). A prior European LCI study, which did comply with ISO 14040 requirements, clearly indicated that there was no significant difference to indicate one system (corrugated or plastic crates) was environmentally superior to the other.

The Reusable Pallet and Container Coalition (RPCC), which sponsored this latest effort, should also make public the underlying assumptions or inputs that were used, specifically the number of “turns” a plastic crate makes per year and over its life. These numbers have a critical impact.

In summary, this latest RPCC study is incomplete, its findings seriously questionable, and its public release (before peer review that meets ISO 14040 standards) premature.

Yours sincerely,

John Mullinder PPEC

Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council

Co-signed by:

Steve Purwitsky (Canadian Corrugated Packaging Alliance)

Renee Mailhot Power (Canadian Corrugated Packaging Alliance)

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