Re: Refillable Bottles

Helen Spiegelman (
Fri, 21 May 1999 16:35:06 -0700

Hi Carol:

At 05:44 PM 5/21/99 -0400, Carol Slechta wrote:

>Redemption worked when housewives and footloose little kids>returned heavy
glass bottles to the stores. Those days are>over. The value to the consumer
is just not high enough.

Carol, that would be news to Canadian cosumers who return 97% of the
refillable beer bottles for recycling (probably only a slight hyperbole by
the beer industry). Similarly, consumers in Canadian provinces like BC and
Alberta return upwards of 85% of refundable single-use containers for

You said:

Every single thing that a consumer>discards should be collected by the
municipality and from there>distributed to various organizations--free, if
necessary to stimulate>an use for it.

I see municipal taxes spent on collection of consumer discards (for
disposal OR for recycling) as a public subsidy to the producers of those
cheap throw-aways. Far from "stimulating" a use for discards, this
convenient service "stimulates" producers to dump more and more throw-away
junk on the consumer, confident that the hapless taxpayer will dig deeper
to pay to get rid of it.

Then you said:
Serious recycling at this point requires hours of a
>consumer's week. Only retirees can make this type of effort.

Do you think one of the problems of our society might be consumers who are
to busy to clean up after themselves, and expect the community to provide
convenient clean-up services for them...