Hilex Poly Co. leading by example in battle against plastic bag bansPosted on May 29, 2012 by DrRossH in Plastic Waste News
There is no doubt that recycling is better than going to landfill. Approx 97% of bags do not get recycled but go to landfill or as litter, so should we continue to produce the millions and millions of plastic bags so Hilex can recycle 3% of them?
There are problems with their model. The biggest is as mentioned in the first comment is that it requires the manufacture of 300,000 new bags to recycle 100,000 bags, which means we are making the problem worse as we have to make more and more bags. Eliminating bags does just that, it stops bags from going to landfills and becoming litter. Eliminating bags can be from outright bag bans to charging a fee for them and let the consumer decide to pay for them or not use them. Experience shows that a small 10 cent fee would cut their use by almost 90 percent. That tells us what value the consumers place on them, almost none. This is why they have become such a problem as we put no value on them and hence use way too many of them and care less about their disposal.
The other factor is transport costs. There is no way bags are going to be shipped from California to SC to be recycled. It is far better to get people to reuse their own bags and then there is no need for any transport of used bags to recycle centres, then ship the pellets back out to a factory again for remanufacture then distribute the new bags to the stores.
The plain truth is we just don’t need most plastic bags. We got by in past years without then so why do we need them now?
Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we have to do it. Hilex can effectively recycle bags, doesn’t mean we ought to continue to make plastic bags so they can recycle just a few of them. Approx 97% of bags do not get recycled, so should we continue to produce the millions and millions of plastic bags so Hilex can recycle 3% of them?
Hats off to Hilex for figuring out how to recycle a bag, but we shouldn’t be using the bags anyway.