So what about www.plasticfilmrecycling.com?
I’ve always wondered just how trustworthy the plastic film recycling process is. First of all, and I know I’m going to sound like a conspiracy theorist, plastic film recycling is sponsored by various companies and organizations representing the packaging industry. Secondly, I haven’t been able to figure out the end market for this plastic film. Where does it go? Who uses it? As with most of the questions I’ve asked about where our recyclables go, I haven’t been able to find any answers.
Today I found an interesting blog posted by The Ecology Center in Berkeley. Check it out:
In short, the research indicates that this plastic film isn’t being recycled into much of anything – because there is no viable market for it. And that’s the problem with recycling. Everything we send for recycling CAN be recycled. But if nobody wants to process the materials, there’s no market and it goes nowhere.
It is becoming increasingly clear to me that we really need to re-think our attitude about recycling. For years, we were able to kid ourselves that recycling was profitable for the people collecting the materials. And it was – when we were sending our junk to China. But now, things are different. There is no reliable market for our recyclables. And there’s no place to send it that isn’t a moral disgrace. Sending our garbage to developing countries who do not have the infrastructure to deal with it is unacceptable.
So that means that SOMEBODY needs to pay for recycling our waste. Recycling is probably not profitable from a dollars and cents perspective. But it DOES profit the planet – and that ultimately means all of us. Either we the people – the consumer – or the manufacturer is going to have to foot the bill for dealing with recycling. My guess is that either way, Joe and Jane public are going to foot the bill. But really, what choice do we have?
The plastic crisis is real. Landfills are filling up with plastic that will never, ever decompose. The fish in the ocean are full of little tiny plastic pieces that we are eating. It’s everywhere. Continually making new paper from virgin wood destroys forests - a critical part of the environment that helps us all survive. And recycling metal and glass is more energy efficient and respectful of natural resources than manufacturing these materials from the raw ingredients.
SO IT MAKES SENSE – RECYCLING IS HERE TO STAY. BUT NOW WE HAVE TO PAY FOR IT. NOTHING IS FOR NOTHING, IS IT?