Recycling of plastics and bioplastics

The Question in LinkedIn Green group was: "Should the (US) plastic manufacturing industry stop the use of bioplastics and oxy-degradable plastics because they are likely to pollute existing waste streams and jeopardize the recycling process?"


I would like to ask the provocative question why we have to throw something away to make something new out of it in the first place?

Before we became this toss-away society, we used to REUSE things. Bottles and jars were reused instead of thrown away.
And even if we believe we really need to trash something, why would we burn it (gasify, plasmatise, …)? To get something that we could possibly use as fuel by ignoring the fact that we are still using finite resources for it instead of using renewable fuels?
The whole recycling still needs input and causes output, more than it is desirable.

I still remember times when I bought yoghurt in a glass jar that I returned when I bought the next. Same with milk, same with water, lemonade, coke. Tins were recycled, easily. Bread and the like was bought in a paper bag made of recycled paper.

Then some clever person invented Tetrapak, a hybrid that is extremely hard to recycle and is not recycled at all in NZ. Because it saved the product manufacturer money on the transport. Then it was out of his hands, not his problem any more but the problem of the consumer once he bought it.

What if the transport would not consume fossil fuel in the first place but use electric energy produced from renewable resources?
The recycling of the old materials like metal and glass would be fuelled the same way?
I guess we would not need to worry about waste any more that much.

My honest suggestion is you are rethinking the whole system rather than focussing on continuing an existing problem.

“You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created” (Albert Einstein)