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5 comments

Recycling: Whose Responsibility?

Posted March 02, 2009 8:18 AM

Manufacturers may refer to their packaging materials as high-density polyethylene or polyethylene terephthalate, but consumers call the materials "plastic." Since the public does not distinguish between a No. 5 plastic recycling label and a No. 2 one, is it possible that recycling's success lies with the manufacturers, more so than with consumers?

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#1

Re: Recycling: Whose Responsibility?

03/02/2009 9:18 AM

It is indeed true, the average consumer has no idea what the plastic number means. I was once told by a person that the number meant the plastic type could be recycled 'x' times, where 'x' was the number in the recycle symbol.

The recycling initiative seems for the most part to be managed by municipal governments, and as such it is their responsibility to educate their constituents and to provide suitably marked receptacles for the various plastic types, if indeed a presort is desired.

The type of plastic used is chosen for specific reasons and the education of the consuming public can hardly be foisted off onto the manufacturer, who is after all is only responding to the needs of the product manufacturer. As viewed from the packaging point of view.

Looking at the product v.s. the packaging, a quick survey around my current location found no indication on the products exactly which plastic was used in the manufacturing process. Considering the vast variety of plastics used to make consumer products, and in very few cases are these plastics actually recycled, perhaps these objects should as well be marked to allow for easy sorting.

A vast wealth of material is shipped to land fills every day in the form of old television sets, old power tools, kitchen appliances, etc. these materials as well as the various plastics should be intercepted and recycled.

In these interesting economic times manpower is not the problem, identification of the various plastics is.

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#2

Re: Recycling: Whose Responsibility?

03/02/2009 12:43 PM

A central waste processing plant can handle this task if the citizenry can't tell the difference between a 5 and a 2.

Especially if we staff it with laid off wall street Hedge fund managers.

milo

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Recycling: Whose Responsibility?

03/03/2009 10:37 PM

Milo,

I'm not sure, judging by thier recent performance, if they are up to that job.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Recycling: Whose Responsibility?

03/04/2009 6:59 AM

Seems the average people just can't figure out the difference between a 2 and a 5 on a plastic container, or maybe they just do not care??

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Recycling: Whose Responsibility?

04/07/2009 8:45 AM

Yes, it seems ex-hedge fund managers would be better suited as plastic manufacturers, shielded from having duty foisted upon them, and ensuring inadvised public will unwititingly determine if the product is usable....... or garbage.

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