Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Plastic theft 500 million dollar headache for US

Stolen plastic pallets. image courtesy LA county
Plastic theft has become an nationwide epidemic in US with businesses losing up to 500 million dollars every year, say South Californian authorities.

The thieves focus on high grade plastic pallets and crates which are used to transport a wide range of products. More importantly, these packaging materials can be easily found unattended on loading docks behind grocery stores, restaurants and other similar businesses.

The value of high-grade plastic pallets, trays and crates has gone up as the price of petroleum has risen but until recently, the law enforcement bodies did not take the theft of such material seriously.

Plastics thieves typically take the pallets to recycling facilities, where they now can get around 15 cents a pound for high-grade plastic. It may not sound like much, but some pallets weigh 100 pounds.

The crime's especially a problem in Southern California, which has a lot of recyclers and easy access to the Asian market.

Authorities say the black market in plastics is sort of like the one for copper wiring, except plastic is easier to steal and the crime is more widespread.
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