Articles that talk about the recycling process continue to feed us lies. How you might ask?
Remember when you were younger and wanted to do something fun, but your parents kept pushing this activity you wanted to do further and further back? It finally got to the point that when you would ask, you just knew what the answer was so you stopped asking and faced the facts that this fun activity you wanted to do so bad wasn’t going to happen?
This is a great interpretation of how we keep getting fed lies on how recycling is improving when there are no numbers to back it up that it is actually improving. So, consumers just keep going with it. Big corporations are not being held accountable. They assure us soon these goals will be met but they won’t be. Money is being wasted and the problem is not getting resolved.
For example, to think a company such as Proctor and Gamble, a fortune 500 company has prolonged these unachievable recycling goals is truly sickening. Just to put this in perspective they mention that by 2030 they are committed to achieving 100% recyclable or reusable packing. They continue to say “P&G will reduce global use of virgin petroleum plastic in their packaging by 50% by 2030”. This is more than a stretch, it’s totally unrealistic.
Another prime example is just recently Kellogg’s (Pringles) announced they are going to work towards a 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by the end of 2025. Well which one is it? Recycling or compostable? How can we honestly expect to believe by 2025 these cans will be 100% recyclable? They mention what can be recycled and what cannot:
What can be recycled?
- Any size of Pringles cans
- Plastic lids on Pringles cans
What can’t be recycled?
- Any type of crisp bags
- Any crisp cans that are not from Pringles (This one is key)
Anyone can see that this is simply a money scheme. Pringles doesn’t really care if your recycling. They just care that you purchase Pringles crisps and no other type of crisps and they are using recycling to gain your trust. The Pringles can and lid are made up of multiple materials that make it impossible for each of them to be recycled without contaminating the recycling process. These companies have no credibility because they have not achieved any of these goals which means recycling is clearly not working and there needs to be another way.
Companies extend the same goals year after year while at the same time doubling down on recycling. From their understanding they think the public has forgotten how these same brands announced similar recycling goals in the past years and we watched these deadlines for these goals come and go without achievement. Its like telling your parents you won’t do something again and again to save punishment when you both know you will, and the problem will never get resolved unless real actions are taken.
So, what have we learned over the last 10 years with regards to recycling?
- In the past years, we have learned that the way developed nations have been recycling has been the biggest hoax in the 20th and 21st century.
- Nations are losing millions of dollars every year because of this so called need to recycle.
- The recycling of plastic waste has not gotten better.
In fact, the numbers have gotten worse due to the circumstances with Covid-19. Also, not to mention other countries have closed their boarders to take our plastic waste due to contamination. Before Covid-19 hit, the numbers were less than impressive, now they are dismal after the whole pandemic. So, if recycling companies in various cities across the nation are stopping there services how can we honestly say that we need recycling when this is so far from the truth. Hundreds of recycling facilities have shut down their services across the nation because of Covid-19. Since recycling facilities are being shut down this means that they aren’t essential right?
As the double down on recycling is happening at the same time the recycling industry is crumbling. When I say crumbling, I mean imploding at an increasing high rate of speed. Sure, there can be temporary fixes but that’s not what the world needs, the world needs permanent and long-term fixes. Any time a new recycling plan is put into practice we are told by that very same company that we don’t need to worry because this time their recycling goals will be different and successful.
We have seen the same type of doubling down from the recycling industry. We are assured by these companies that this time things will be different, we need federal and state subsidies or we need to force brands to pay for recycling infrastructure, we need to force consumers to recycle properly and punish them if they do not. This time will be different we need to require brands to use more recycled content, so we create false markets for recycled materials. Lies. Lies. Lies.
It’s time to put our foot down. If its subsidized, it’s not a sustainable solution. Its unsustainable and very complex to recycle. Everyone deserves to be informed that there are other ways to be sustainable besides recycling. We need to stop giving into social pressures that we must recycle. To reach zero-waste, eliminate pollution, reduce GHG emission, lower carbon footprint and ensure return value though clean energy recovery, plastics need to be designed to work in our Solid Waste Management Systems [ASTM D5526/D5511]
For more information read this article published and written by E.A. Crunden and Cole Rosengren; “How Many Curbside Recycling Programs Have Benn Cut”?