Packaging costs NYC taxpayers $600 millionPosted on July 29, 2014 by DrRossH in Plastic Waste News
Adding these together it would be fair to say that New York City taxpayers pay $600 million annually to deal with printed paper and packaging in one way or another.
If producers included the costs of recycling their packaging in the cost of their products and packaging, like they do in Europe and in much of Canada, the City would save a lot of money. That’s money that could be repurposed for public goods like schools, police, water, transportation, and parks.
If this producer responsibility for packaging became the norm in the United States, think of what cities and local governments could fund instead of cleaning up after Corporate America’s unfunded liabilities.
It is wrong that manufacturers who make products that we all know will end up as litter or be recycled, is addressed at the tax payers expense. This has to change. The manufacturers have to pay the real cost of a product. This includes the front end manufacturing and delivery cost and also the disposal cost of their products. Only then will we see some common sense in our products. As mentioned the plastic bottle has 3 different materials to deal with in recycling. It has been made with no regard to how to dispose of it. The label if it can be gotten off, then jams up the shredding machine. The top pollutes the mix if it is ground up with the bottle so they all have to be carefully handpicked to separate. This is expensive so it adds a considerable cost to the recycling cost. This is a cost the manufacturer should be covering, then they would come up with different ways to achieve this same result but at a much lower cost.
Candy wrappers is another good example. They are made of multiple layers of laminates of different materials bonded together to give the right strength, printabilty, color and more. This is almost impossible to recycle. This philosophy of design to sell only is wrong. We have to be smarter and force companies to think beyond the sales point. We, the tax payers are the ones paying for it now both in cash costs for rubbish collection and diminished environmental beauty for us and our following generations. The manufacturers are reaping profits they do not deserve.