PET recycling rate inches up, while recycling capacity continues to expandPosted on November 10, 2012 by DrRossH in Plastic Waste News
Container deposit schemes also do two important things.
1) they raise recycling from approx 20% to over 80%. That is a huge increase in the supply of recycled bottles for these processors.
2) these schemes have the consumers do all the most difficult work (for free) of getting the bottles from very widely scattered places back to a few centralised recycling stations. From there it is easy to transport in bulk the bottles back to the processors.
‘Light-weighting of bottles is more sustainable’ raises some questions.
Why is it more sustainable? One could argue that less plastic loose in the environment is better for the environment, true. Or that less plastic used by manufacturers is beneficial for the environment, true again. But sustainable? Sustainable refers to using resources at a rate where they can be naturally replaced with in the life time of that product.
Making plastic bottles is not sustainable by any definition. The wrong word has been used by manufacturers to justify their actions to make it sound good to consumers.
A plastic bottle loose in the environment is still the same visual pollution no matter if it is a thin wall or a thick wall bottle.
Do we care that a thin bottle takes 200 years to break down vs 300 years for a thick wall bottle (numbers are just examples)? No, they are both equally unacceptable.
In reality the only people who benefit from light-weighting bottles is the manufacturers as they use less raw materials. The rest of us suffer as we did before.
Let us call it what it is not what the manufacturers try to sell themselves as.