What If Florida Followed Maine’s Example On Recycling?

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Botella de plasticowikicreativecommons In: What If Florida Followed Maine’s Example On Recycling? | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Photo Creative Commons, Wikipedia.

 

Tom makes the following correct statement to which we would like to add more:

Part of the problem is that the petroleum industry, which is the industry behind the plastic industry, has deluded the public for years about plastic recycling. It was sold as easy, with the recycling logos on bottles and jugs that implied all you had to do was to put it in the right bin.

That statement is true, but it is not just the petroleum industry, it big corporations which have single-use plastics– the water bottling companies, soft drink companies and so on.  And it is not in the past– most people today are still fooled by that little recycle sign.  Lies, yes indeed and deception too.  Nestle proudly states that  their  water bottles are 100 per cent recyleble!  They fail to say that the vast majority are not recycled because it is cheaper to make new bottles.

We were unable to find new information on BlueTriton in Maine who now bottles the old Poland Spring brand.  Hopefully this will put them out of business.

We cannot say too often that the public is exposed to the lies of industry regarding the recycling symbol on plastic containers.

Our thanks to Tom Palmer who has given us permission to post his articles.

See the original article in Sierra Club here.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
[email protected]
– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum


What If Florida Followed Maine’s Example On Recycling?

Officials in Maine have approved a tough new regulation that forces the companies that manufacture the plastic products that are difficult if not impossible to recycle to pay up to support local recycling programs.

tom palmer In: What If Florida Followed Maine’s Example On Recycling? | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Tom Palmer

The concept, known as extended producer responsibility charges the companies that produce the waste that local governments are stuck dealing with fees to cover some or all of the costs of local recycling programs.

These programs have been passed in some form in 33 states, the New York Times reports, but most do not deal with the plastic and packaging issues.

How to handle the cost of recycling programs was less of an issue for local governments when China was accepting shipments of plastic waste from all over the world for reprocessing it. When China stopped accepting the waste—and other countries that were possible replacements also began turning down imports they said made their countries into dumping grounds—local officials had to rethink their recycling programs were worth continuing.

Added to the calculation is the fact that the value of recyclables, like all commodities, varies with the market. This is especially true of plastics.

Part of the problem is that the petroleum industry, which is the industry behind the plastic industry, has deluded the public for years about plastic recycling. It was sold as easy, with the recycling logos on bottles and jugs that implied all you had to do was to put it in the right bin.

This was a lie. The fact is the chemical makeup of some plastic containers is so complex that it is unprofitable to try to recycle them.

Another factor affecting the cost of local recycling programs is the lack of education and enforcement of curbside recycling standards, which can result in a high rate of contamination. That means people putting items in their recycling carts that either can no longer be recycled or were never considered recyclable.

If Florida were to pass a law like the one in Maine—and in many European Union countries—it could provide incentives to do more to encourage legitimate recycling efforts and to provide an opening for state officials to require local governments to do more to combat the contamination problem.

The proposal would run into the usual opposition from retailers and manufacturers who typically claim this will raise prices for consumers. However, independent analyses have concluded the effect on product prices is negligible, according to the same New York Times article.

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