Dear Plastics Industry: We are Headed for a DivorcePosted on April 17, 2019 by DrRossH in Plastic Waste News
The plastics industry needs to make some serious changes to save its relationship with recyclers.
Here’s where we need to start:
- Replace Nos. 3, 6 or 7 plastics with more recyclable, less toxic resins. There are no viable, long-term markets for these materials, now or realistically on the horizon. The changes need to start with product design.
- Phase out avoidable, single-use plastics most likely to cause marine litter. The European Union just banned 10 single-use plastics. Stop making them globally.
- Buy back your products and increase recycled content. The Recycle Demand Champions initiative is a good move in that direction, but we need to think bigger, bolder and faster. Unilever committed to 50 percent post-consumer recycled content in its North American packaging by the end of this year. Let’s take that industry-wide and keep growing.
- Recommit on collecting Nos. 1 and 2 bottles. We need a real commitment to use more recycled content, build more U.S. remanufacturing facilities and support programs that collect materials. Invest in bottle-to-bottle recycling, not chemical recycling.
- Scale up polypropylene (PP) market development and more collection programs for No. 5 plastics, such as yogurt cups. PP is a relatively safe plastic and a good alternative to less recyclable, more toxic resins.
- Stop concentrating on chemical recycling as the magical technical solution. These low-value plastics cannot be sustained. It’s not a full-scale solution, it’s a distraction.
- Invest substantially in reusable packaging as a business model. Projects such as Loop that use refillable, reusable containers are a game changer. We need innovative solutions that reject disposable as the default.
This author states quite simply what we have all know for many years. But good to see it put into one place. The plastics manufacturing industry has been free loading off the problems their products have been making of years and it is time to bring them onboard to deal with these huge problems they have made. They have to contribute to the cost of dealing with their products. That makes sense all around.