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Re: [GreenYes] recycling plastic number 5's and 6's. -Why make it at all?
I am not defending the soft drink industry -- they have done some not nice 
things in the past to discourage refillables

But now its too late in the US we are in a gobal economy and we can''t go 
back to refillables easily -- DISTANCE to market!!! Even European studies 
are now seeing not much benefit.

Lifecycle studies show refiillable PET is the best all around I understand.

Best of luck in your research.
michele Raymond

At 02:58 PM 12/14/01 -0500, Wayne Turner wrote:
>For all of us 'boomers' who recall the days when there was no such thing 
>as plastic packaging for sodas and other beverages, this problem didn't 
>exist.  That's because the glass bottles that contained sodas had an 
>intrinsic value on them that was determined by the marketplace.  It was 
>actually less expensive for the bottlers and much more sustainable to pay 
>a small fee, typically 2 cents in my time, to get the bottles back and 
>reuse them.  I personally recall summers when I collected bottles and 
>redeemed them for some spending money.  Place an intrinsic value on 
>anything, even waste, and you'll be amazed at how creatively people will 
>recover it to extract the value.
>The advent of plastic bottles, with their low or negligible intrinsic 
>value obviated this system for the bottlers.  It became cheaper and more 
>profitable to simply use 'one way' packaging, thus placing the burden of 
>disposal on the consumer (i.e. the taxpayers).  I certainly don't recall a 
>hue and cry from the public demanding plastic packaging (bottles).  What 
>this created was a huge subsidy for the bottlers in that taxpayers 
>shouldered the burden of the end-of-life for the plastic bottles.  Now, as 
>taxpayers, we're expected to continue to shoulder that burden by putting 
>in place recycling programs that cost taxpayers more than it cost the 
>bottlers to reuse their glass bottles.  The plastics industry (i.e. the 
>petroleum industry, i.e. the oil industry) is not going to place an 
>intrinsic value on the plastic bottles based on market price because it's 
>cheaper to produce from virgin materials than post consumer 
>recyclables.  It's much more profitable to extract and produce tha!
>n take-back and produce.
>Instead of adding layer upon layer of new policies and subsidies, I'd 
>prefer to see us take an approach that peels back some of the layers to 
>times when systems were simpler, more sustainable and the costs associated 
>with producing the products and packages rested solely with the producers 
>themselves.  Then, we as consumers, can make a choice to purchase based on 
>the cost and performance of the product without having to concern 
>ourselves with the end-of-life issue.
>B. Wayne Turner
>City of Winston-Salem
>Utilities Division
>phone: (336) 747 8418
> >>> "Paul Goettlich" <> 12/12/01 01:37PM >>>
>For real solutions to the problem of plastics recycling, the appropriate
>question(s) must be asked. In this case, a more appropriate question would
>be "Should plastic be made in the first place?"
>As a complete and final solution I like the first "R" best-- to reduce,
>accomplished on an easy-to-follow national reduction plan, the goal being
>complete elimination of plastic.
>It's an ambitious goal, however, the first part of the plan is to reduce the
>amount of plastic one buys by substituting nonplastic products wherever
>possible. Don't purchase those items that are made of plastic or wrapped in
>plastic. This is not easy for consumers who were born after the advent of
>plastic, and find it indispensable--actually addicted to it. We lived quite
>well before plastic, and we can do so after plastic has been eliminated.
>We must omit one plastic product from our households on a regular schedule,
>until all are banished. For a start, store all food in glass or ceramic, not
>plastic containers or wrap. Ask your supermarket to stop wrapping foods,
>especially fatty foods like meats and cheeses, in PVC. Demand that
>corporations such as Coke and Pepsi actually reuse their plastic containers.
>There are so many ways to accomplish this reduction plan.
>Educate people to the fact that there is no recycling of plastic. A more
>appropriate definition of what is being done with discarded plastic is
>"extremely limited reuse" before it finds its way to the landfill,
>incinerator, or less developed nations such as India where the same thing
>happens with it. If consumers were made aware of this fact, they would see
>that plastic is an environmentally unsustainable material and not a wise
>selection. A good way to begin this education is to let them know that NOT
>ONE of the thousands of plastic milk jugs they dutifully place in the
>"recycling" bin each week is made into a new plastic milk jug.
>To approach the problem of plastic recycling from the other end--the
>cause--have Industry assume its fair share of product responsibility by
>legislating the elimination of all externalized production costs. This must
>include the full environmental damage caused by its production, use, and
>disposal. And I mean ALL externalized damage associated with it, including
>the cancers, birth defects, mental disabilities, sexual abnormalities, crime
>caused by violence, road rage.... and so on. If all the damage associated
>with plastics were included, and made part of the manufacturers
>responsibility, it not would be produced, thus ending the world's plastic
>recycling dilemma in very short time.
>I'd like to assemble a list of other ways to reduce the use and production
>of plastic if people would send their ideas in.
>Paul Goettlich
>PO Box 517
>Berkeley  CA   94701
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Sarah I. Wolpow" <>
>To: "Stephan Pollard" <>
>Cc: "The Eden Sterling Company" <>; <>
>Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2001 9:30 AM
>Subject: Re: [GreenYes] recycling plastic number 5's and 6's.
> > I sometimes wonder about the cost/benefit of mailing things out to get
> > recycled. Trucking is such a huge source of pollution, it may be better
> > environmentally to simply landfill the plastic rather than burn fuel to
>get it to
> > a recycling plant... Any thoughts?
> >
> > Stephan Pollard wrote:
> > > Same goes for us folks in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  We'd be appreciative
> > > responses to Ben's email could be shared with the group.
> > > Also, is there anything we can do with 4's?
> > > Stephan
> > > The Eden Sterling Company wrote:
> > > > Hello. My name is Ben Randolph. I am new to this list. We strive in
> > > > household to recycle as much as possible. Here in Cincinnati, Ohio we
> > > > find no place that takes plastics marked with a 5 or 6. We want to
>know if
> > > > there is someplace we could mail these plastics to that would recycle
> > > > We don't have that many, but over 3-4 months they would add up to be
>quite a
> > > > lot. Or if someone knows of a place in Cincinnati that we might have
> > > > overlooked.
> > > > Peace,
> > > > Ben Randolph
> > ******************************************
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Michele Raymond
Recycling Laws International/ State Recycling Laws Update
5111 Berwyn Rd. Ste 115 College Park, MD 20740)
301/345-4237   Fax 345-4768

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