So, surprise, surprise, about two thirds of the plastic we send for recycling is actually buried or burned! Ten or so years ago I didn’t mind this too much – the priority was education, becoming ‘ the norm’ to recycle plastic rather than bin it. While we as a society worked on that, it gave the manufacturers time to make sure we could deal with it all.
How naive of me! They appear to have done nothing as the news reported yesterday: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45058971
The real shame is that it so unnecessary. Read the BBC article and you will see that there are viable alternatives to the materials currently used.
The two possible solutions are financial or legal as the industry is clearly not going to sort the problem out for themselves. A combination of legislation and cost worked with plastic bags – an obvious solution which has been phenomenally successful. According to The Guardian, plastic bag use has dropped by 85%. So easy!
For plastic containers I advocate legislation. Just make it illegal to produce non-recyclable plastic where there is a realistic alternative. Yes of course we all need to cut down on its use anyway, but we just wouldn’t notice if the containers were made from slightly different material.
Picture from http://plastic-pollution.org/