In this article by Kenrick van Hoek: the truth about the recycling industry, how we could solve the plastic waste issue and why people who litter should be shot.
The BBC broadcast a show last week about the early beginnings of plastics and it made me realize that the attitude towards plastic has changed rather significantly the last decades…and people are wrong!
Plastic used to seen as a magical material which could be shaped into any form at a low price!
Nowadays plastics have been been made a scapegoat of our materialistic society. But it is unrealistic to blame plastics for our own culture is it not? When there is economic development a middle class will arise and with that the need for affordable and durable products…and plastics provides exactly that.
(Please imagine for a moment: there are NO plastics in this world…how would your car look, your washingmachine, your computer….?!)
So we need plastics…but how could we use them without hurting the environment?
Upgrade the designs
I used to work in the plastic recycling industry and saw that the biggest problem with the recycling of PET bottles (your typical Coca-Cola bottle) is the design which makes it very labour intensive to recycle these bottles.
The problem? These PET bottles have a PP cap! So that’s two different plastics in one very simple product and the result is that it is very difficult to recycle these bottles.
(Also think about the ketchup bottle with the aluminium cover…which genius designed this? That little bit of aluminium makes these plastic ketchup bottles almost impossible to recycle.)
Shoot people who litter?
(Ok let’s not, but we should educate these idiots)
Almost all plastics can be recycled but as I explained this is not always possible as the process is way to expensive due to the bad designs.
The same thing goes for humans…some of us are simply badly designed!
I am sorry, but otherwise I can’t explain the huge amounts of plastics in the sea. If people would just dispose of their garbage in the way they are supposed to (like walking to a bin and throw away your plastics there instead of on the sidewalk) the world would look a lot better and the governments could spent their money on developing better recycling methods instead of spending the money on clean up teams.
Bio plastics? No!
Next to impoving the designs of our plastic products and teaching our fellow society members to throw away their garbage in a bin, the plastic industry should focus their attentions on the development of materials which are less harmfull to our environment. You are probably thinking I am now talking of bio plastics but I am most definitely not.
Bio plastics actually are a huge problem for the recycling industry!
The problem is that if 1 piece of bio plastics joins a flow of ‘regular’ plastics this becomes very difficult to recycle and that bio plastics often takes over large areas of land previously used to grow crops for human consumption.
So I propose further research into innovative nature- AND recycle-friendly materials which do not require us to sacrifice food.
Seeing our current attitude towards plastics I think there will be no objection to taxing our plastic products to pay for this research.
Yes, I (a CEO of a plastic company) am suggesting extra taxes because it’s time to take this problem seriously
Just let the consumer or producer pay an extra 10 cents per kilo plastic that is in their product and spend that money on research and the world will look a better plac(tic)e. I will take these extra costs for granted if it helps return the old attitude towards plastic:
Plastic is a magical product!