All Due Respect

Videos like this one trouble me...Shown under a TEDed label, it's taken as fact by a good number of people that view it.


It's nicely done, and most of the message rings true to my understanding, but it is a massive disservice to spread the idea that recycling is the answer to the plastics piling up in landfills (13% of the solid waste stream according to the EPA) and fouling the oceans.

One factor complicating plastics recycling is that there are 7 common types of plastic that have to be sorted into like-types before they can be recycled - this is further mucked up with the introduction of "bio-plastics", which sound great, but suck on multiple levels, this being a mere one of them.

The fact that we use such an offensively absurd amount of plastic all day every day is the reason literal tons of plastic are washing into the ocean around the clock (8million metric tons annually).  

Picture it - seriously - A conveyor belt of tons of plastic dumping into the ocean 24/7, because that's the deal.

So a neat and tidy message that we can recycle our way out of this gets all up in my craw no matter how well intentioned the messenger.

The solution is turning off the plastic tap and rethinking the material for use when intelligently necessary (medical use/large durable goods manufacturing...), not for plastic water bottles, ring pops, straws, cigarette filters, glitter, googly eyes, and tampon applicators.