The time has come for companies to step up their game, for marketers to generate new markets for even more recycled goods, for manufacturing experts to make things with less packaging, the least environmental footprint, with the least waste, and in the process make some serious green$$$!!!
At our house, we recycle as much as we can, yet there is not a market for some of the plastics that we should be able to reuse/recycle...look at all the plastic packaging I've collected. I contacted our local recycling company, and was told that it can not be recycled, but has to go in the trash!
However, we know that sustainable packaging is possible, and that biodegradable packing is possible (SunChips bags). Unfortunately it is not common practice to have such packaging, and that is a crime against humanity because it all ends up in the landfills creating a toxic soup. Thankfully there are some companies that have stepped up their game to find useful end of life uses for packaging, but we need more of them.
If you haven't checked them out yet, TerraCycle, founded in 2001 by a 19 year old Princeton University student named Tom Szaky, makes eco-friendly products from varied recycled products. http://www.terracycle.net/ Things such as Frito-Lay bags, CapriSun drink pouches, Elmer's glue sticks, Nabisco and Keebler cookie packages, etc. You can join a brigade, collect the items and receive money towards a charity of your choice which can be your school if the school is participating. Szaky's ingenious idea to upcycle things that would normally end up in landfills is what is needed. Now to get TerraCycle to take some more "waste" like plastic bags from frozen foods, plastic cereal bag inserts, etc. I've already sent them some ideas, we'll see what they think.
Some interesting statistics from TerraCycle:
- people collecting trash 9,639, 059
- waste units collected 1,821,678,773
- products from waste 178
- money for charity $829,462.19