There’s a wave of articles about the plastic recycling problem, with predictable photos of mountains of plastic trash;
- Treehugger: Don’t Believe the ‘Store Drop-Off’ Label When It Comes to Plastic Packaging
- NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
These all make it too complicated. “Data collected by Greenpeace from MRFs across the U.S. showed that only #1 and #2 plastic bottles and jugs meet the standard for being marketed as recyclable.” Those little triangle symbols on every other product, especially on plastic bags and films, are simply a lie.
And “In store drop-off” (to later be added to the rest of the trash!) is pointless work for the consumer and the store. In San Francisco you can place your carefully-collected and folded plastic bags on top of your recycling bin, but someone from the waste company told me it ends up in the trash. Obviously it’s hundreds of times more expensive to try to turn a few grams of mixed post-consumer plastic film into new products than to make new film.
♳♴ might get recycled, if it’s clear, no colors, and with minimal dirt, gunk, plastic film, labels, plastic rings, etc. attached.
♵♶♷♸♹ is not recycling, no matter how many feel-good slogans are placed nearby. It’s just garbage along with all the rest of the trash we heedlessly produce. At least plastic packaging is light and so uses little resources.