Everyone has heard the awful statistic that an estimated 8 million tons of plastic waste enter the world’s oceans each year. With all the ocean pollution videos flying around, we know it is true – but as a society, we are a little blind to how it gets there in the first place.
Believe it or not, this all starts with recycling.
By answering these 119 questions you TOO can hold the key to preventing 50% of ocean waste from entering the oceans into the next 5 years.
To get a good head-start, simply study this graph on US recycling exports for the first quarter of 2018.
Now, take this chart and multiply it by almost every other nation who deploys curbside recycling programs.
As a taxpayer, let’s start the questions to ask the following list of questions to:
- Most importantly is YOU. As the buyer and creator of waste, you deserve to know the most.
- Recycling vendors, municipalities, and governments.
- Neighbors and friends.
- High-profile Fortune 500 sustainability directors. (Most shocked is their lack of knowledge.)
1. If your recycling center is still collecting your recycling right now, where is it going to be made a new bottle or gain a second life? If it’s not going to Asia or SE Asia – where is it going now?
2. Are you paying to have them pick it up as recycling but then they are landfilling it?
3. Have you called your recycling center to inquire what % they currently landfill given the market crash expressed in the graph where China no longer is accepting trillions of tons of recycling?
4. If it is going to landfill what fee are you paying? Is it a $75 per ton (Average for US) recycling processing fee versus a $52 (Average for US) landfill processing fee? Actually, what are the differences in price in your country?
5. In some cases, are you paying a $75 per ton recycling processing fee to have waste be collected as “recycling” on TOP of another $52 per ton landfilling fee? Why are they charging you both fees when they already know it has nowhere to go for the last two to three years? See the graph again.
6. If there is no market for recyclables and recycling centers are in the red, who is footing the bill to continue collecting the waste? Is your government footing the bills of privately owned recycling centers to continue operations?
7. If your government is footing their bills how much is this costing you that tax-payer?
8. Looking at the graph again, considering that in 2014 the US sent roughly 550M tons to China + 250M tons to Hong Kong + 20M to Malaysia + 20M to Vietnam + 5M to Thailand… that’s 850 million tons of recycling exports – where will this all be going if all the remaining markets of Malaysia (who just closed their doors this October), Thailand (Closing their doors in 2020), Vietnam, Hong Kong or any other corner of the world recycling tries to stash their trash goes – for instance also India is taking in a large percentage of what China will no longer buy. What happens to 850M tons of recycling exports per quarter or 3.4 trillion tons of recycling supposed to go? And that is just the United States? Now multiply this by all the other nations also previously relying on Asia and SE Asian nations to process their recycling?
9. Where has the declining amount of collected recycling gone since 2014 if not to SE Asia?
10. If we collected more recycling in 2014 but then see a drop off starting in 2015…are we talking about 3-4 years decline here? When does this situation fall into the category of a TOTAL MARKET CRASH versus a market BLIP? Who is calling the recycling market crash a blip – is it your government? Your private recycling centers? You? Who is assessing these models and announcing when it’s time to stop collecting and make a broadcast announcement to the public that this is a serious issue?
11. How many years does it take to call something a market crash versus a blip?
12. How many millions of tons of waste have you paid to “be recycled” over the span of the last 3-4 years that was actually landfilled? Again don’t forget that double bill of recycling plus landfill fee.
Questions to ask China and your domestic recycling centers:
13. How and why did China close its markets to the world in the first place?
14. Was it only because our waste was too dirty or is it because Chinese people produce so much of their own waste that they had to switch strategies and focus on their own waste management and recycling programs to offset their unruly out of control landfills that lead to ocean pollution?
15. If the recycling that we sent them for a long time was too dirty, what percentage was unprocessable? And, what happened to unprocessable recycling imports in China that never made it to a recycling plant?
16. How dirty is the waste that your country exports? Find the data.
17. Is there a standard of reasonably dirty recycling that your country makes itself achieve or do they only achieve a standard now that China put a standard of .5% contamination that they can no longer meet?
18. When your recycling center closes and sends you letters that there is no market for what they previously collected is that because China says no or because China says no to waste that isn’t clean enough?
19. If they say no to waste that is not clean enough, why is your recycling center telling you there is no market – why don’t they just make it clean enough?
20. Is it just China who has raised the stringency on how contaminated imports can be or is it also starting to happen in countries like Vietnam who now has a standard of 2% contamination on plastic waste imports? Or Malaysia that is outright banning all imports immediately. Or perhaps Thailand who will close their door starting 2020?
21. If there is no way to get it into China because it was too dirty, then why is it still getting shipped to places like Vietnam who have already tightened their contamination rates to just below China’s at 2%? Are there miraculous improvements that have been made to the cleanliness and contamination rate of exports in the last year?
22. Is there some sort of illegal importation process happening? How many illegal recycling centers has Malaysia had to shut-down this year? Hint: 114. 13 legal ones remain. Do you know what is happening to the waste that was imported to illegal recycling centers? Is it just sitting there? Who is responsible for millions of tons of recycling that are sitting in a closed down illegal recycling center on Malaysian soil once the transaction has been made? Is the Malaysian government capable of billing back the countries who sold it to the illegal centers? What happens when trash is illegally imported to a nation?
23. Now that China no longer takes our recycling, does Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia have a little problem with illegal recycling centers popping up that the US and other countries still sell about 40% their collected recycling to? Is that percentage just enough to make it right not to tell you that the other 60% gets landfilled and that your bill should not be adjusted to reflect the amount that never left to Asia and remained in your local landfill?
How and why recycling is contaminated?
24. On contamination, why is it that importing nations (China) have to come up with the standards and not the exporting nations (US, Australia, UK, the EU, New Zealand) on the quality of their exports?
25. Why do importing nations like Vietnam, Thailand, China, Indonesia not have to prove they can manage their own waste before they import any kind of waste from us – especially when they use rivers and oceans as dumping grounds for up to 60% of their waste? If your country has anti-ocean dumping policies but then you export waste to these destinations who do not have regulations against ocean dumping policies, does your nations TRULY not ocean dump?
26. Why is it that importing nations like China, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Indonesia, Cambodia and all the rest of SE Asia only manage to collect 40% of their own people’s trash? That is correct, the main destinations for your recycling are going to nations who only have an estimated 40% of their own people’s waste managed. They use oceans and rivers as their landfills. Why do countries with this kind of a weak standing in waste management best practices have the right to import more waste into a clearly already irresponsible situation where 60% of their domestically produced waste goes into rivers and oceans? Shouldn’t that be illegal? Shouldn’t you have to prove that your nation is capable of managing it’s own waste before you get to import additional waste?
27. Do we export to those Asian nations who have no waste management to provide them sorting jobs of foreign waste? If so, why don’t they collect their own waste and recycling first and make jobs out of that if the buyer China is right next door to them? Are these jobs their excuse to not collect their own recycling and waste?
28. Is it right for developed nations (USA) to prioritize their waste disposal needs before they allow an undeveloped nation(Asia + SE Asian countries) to properly manage their own waste?
29. With a total industry crash on our hands. Considering remaining markets such as Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam (And other unmentioned destinations like India) stop taking your recycling unless it’s clean – if they raise the bar on contamination… is your nation on its way to becoming a spitting mirror image of China up until January 1st of this year? As in, even if though you collect your recycling – it essentially is homeless? It has no facilities to go to for processing? Before January 1st 2018, China did not prioritize the reduction of their landfill waste by collecting recycling. So, now – even though you collect it where is it going to go if not Asia or SE Asia?
30. If you become China, who before January 1st did not prioritize the collection of Chinese people’s recycling, let alone ensuring that their regular waste makes it into a landfill – does that mean you will manage your landfills like China did via incineration, waste burning, and ocean dumping?
31. Are you aware that due to China not prioritizing the collection of it’s own people’s recycling have burned so much waste to offset unruly landfills that 1,200 people die a day from waste-burning related cancer?
32. Are you aware that 1,200 people a day are dying of waste burning induced cancers in China? That is just cancer caused specifically from waste-burning, not counting other self-induced by smoking or breast cancer,etc. Are you aware that cancer is not an immediate death? That it’s a long expensive death that has caused China a huge healthcare crisis? Are you aware that despite China having public health care for nearly all of it’s 1.3 or 1.4 billion people are dying at these alarming rates? Who is going to produce your Nike shoes if the population is dying at a rate of almost half a million per year?
33. Are you aware that the medical expenses incurred from illnesses due to pollution have driven 44% of Chinese people into debt – because cancer is not covered by public health care in China?
34. Do you know how many people in the US die from air-pollution cancer related specifically to waste burning today? Or any country that exports recycling to reduce it’s landfill waste? It is NOT nearly 500,000 people like in China. And the reason it is not that amount is that you always had China to send your recycling waste to for processing.
35. How many new countries will possibly be exposed to nasty air pollution when recycling officially has no home and landfills begin to be managed and conclude on incineration? Which countries will take action quickly enough to implement any other measure to reduce landfills aside from collecting and exporting recycling? For example, which nations will ban unnecessary single-use plastics? Which will collect compost separately from regular waste? Which will implement direct deposit schemes to replace current curbside collection schemes that make it possible to potentially put up recycling processing facilities on your nation’s soil? And even if they did that, what are the consequences of those recycling processing plants versus landfilling and incinerating that recycling?
36. Which US cities have already gotten vouchers from their government to allow for more waste incineration based on having too much waste in their landfills from having nowhere left to go with their recycling?
37. Did you know that waste-burning is equivalent if not worse than coal emissions?
38. If Trump just rolled back emission standards on coal, how does that apply to waste burning vouchers that will need to be given out once the market officially crashes?
39. If you intend to warn people that recycling is crashing based on contamination why would you launch the largest most expensive campaign to date in the US to get people to “Recycle Done Right” – when in the commercial it says “6 in 10 items found in ocean pollution are commonly recyclable?”
Recycling Collection and Sorting Accountability Questions:
40. If the problem for developing nations is that there is no way to get consumers to be accountable for putting the right things into their recycling bins – why do you continue to scale an unaccountable system at the same time as China and other markets are closing their markets based on your inability to render it clean based on costs before it arrives in China?
41. How do you create an accountable recycling system? If you put out a commercial that insists on holding consumers accountable? Do you also hold recycling sorting and export centers in the US accountable for clean waste? Again, why wait until now to enforce accountability and why are the commercials not focused on holding recycling sorting centers AND consumers equally responsible for ensuring that waste is clean and cleaned appropriately – shouldn’t the campaign move both directions?
42. If you plan to continue to recycle using unaccountable curbside collection systems and choose to process this waste domestically by opening recycling plants….how will you process the same dirty unsorted waste that is no longer being accepted for processing by China? Or Hong Kong? Or Malaysia? Or Thailand?
43.If you plan to facilitate recycling domestically, what are the costs to do this to create a sufficient amount of plants that rival China for all the recycling you continue to collect?
44. Do you know the amount of emissions that recycling plants emit?
45. Is there a reason recycling plants were for the most part NOT instituted on American soil? If you are in a nation outside of the United States, are there regulations in your nation regarding this matter? If you do have these regulations, why are they in place?
46. Were emissions from recycling plants always hosted in Asia in the first place, and not the United States or any other nation with recycling programs, for the reason that recycling plants are for the most part damaging to the environment?
47. Is it confusing and convenient to tell the public that the reason you farmed it out to China for so long was that it’s too expensive to sort recycling in the US? Or, is the real reason you did that, so that you could avoid placing recycling plants onto your soil? Essentially, intentionally creating a system that collects waste in an unaccountable way so that the last few legs of the process – the sorting and cleaning remain to be too expensive to do domestically. Which forces the waste to “have” no other home other than poor third world Asian and SE Asian countries to do that part and while you are at it – might as well let China do the chemical melting part as well. Which story is more convenient for you?
48. Fast forward 30 years since recycling first became a thing, are recycling plants designed to a degree where they do not emit ridiculous amounts into the atmosphere? What technologies are available and what are their emissions?
49. How much do those kinds of plants cost?
50. How many years does it take to build an effective low-emissions plant that meets US clean air standards?
51. What is the legislation for clean air at this time in the US as it relates to waste burning? Or recycling emissions?
52. If curbside recycling is the main way we collect the recycling and it didn’t generate a clean result for 17 years which is a direct impact of moving from pre-sorted waste collection to a single bin collection system in 2001. If this lack of cleanliness resulted in almost 40% getting landfilled or ocean dumped once in China – do you think it makes sense to continue to allow this system to be the process for which we collect recycling?
53. Does it make more sense to move away from traveling to millions of homes in America to pick-up a blue bin that has hoses and who knows what else in it. For example, it is a well-known fact, that the US has a 25% contamination rate. This means, 1 in 4 items is the wrong item before it is sorted in the US. How much of what was at a 25% contamination level reaches a lower contamination level after it goes through it’s American sorting process? Considering 50% of the reason we export the recycling to Asia and SE Asia is to further sort it, clean it and then hopefully process it. And if this is done based on it being “too expensive” to do before it is exported, how much of the waste was actually removed before it left the ports of the US to China? Plus, what happens to the percentage that is caught inside of recycling exports – does that land in the oceans? Are domestic sorting jobs worth upholding if they only meet maybe 20-30% of the objective which is to sort the trash?
54. Does it make sense for us to pay for the fee’s associated with curbside recycling collection based on transportation in trucks, gas and manpower when consumers put the wrong things into the bins? Meaning, we know that no matter what we do to educate, they just never end up putting the right thing into the bin at a rate where we can guarantee that what we ship out doesn’t require further sorting and/or is clean enough for processing without landing into the ocean or landfill once in China?
55. Does it make more sense NOT to pick it up at their houses for the fact that this is placing an expense on an area that does not need the emphasis? Is the cost-savings in gas, trucks and employees worth the exchange for the fee’s that are not being taken to sort in the next phase? Just imagine, consumers go to the grocery store every week anyway with their cars to buy more stuff? What if they brought their recycling to the grocery store for a return fee based on direct deposit kiosks – instead of you picking it up at their house?
56. Does it make more sense to have direct deposit kiosks in retail outlet parking lots that mechanically(AI) determine and reject waste that is unclean or perhaps the wrong container before it ever hits the bin? Rewarding the customer with the money back for bringing in clean items that are the right things…versus leaving it up to curbside sorting centers to do an expensive manual job that they don’t hold themselves accountable for?
57. If we stopped paying truck drivers and gas to pick it up at your house – could we have spent more money on the sorting of this stuff before it got to China? If we stopped paying to have it picked up at our houses – followed by ALSO not paying to have a recycling center half-heartedly sort it – would the waste be clean enough without any of those fees and ready for processing in China? Have we been paying a $75 per ton recycling processing fee for really basically POOR RESULTS for almost 17 years? When we could have easily implemented direct deposit and still had municipalities transport the stuff from grocery stores to recycling centers? And we could have still had recycling sales centers selling the waste without sorting – as clean materials for 17 yeras? How much have we been over-paying for this process that is supposed to protect the earth – meanwhile half of it is getting lost into the oceans?
58. How much is recycling costing you if you go to millions of American homes versus thousands of retailers to pick-up pre-sorted 100% clean waste? What is the opportunity cost of how much it will cost us to now clean up the oceans versus keep these jobs? Or if we continue on this destructive path, how much will it cost us to do both clean the oceans AND pay for these jobs? Or better yet, how much revenue will the government lose from the taxes earned on these jobs?
59. Can recycling curbside and recycling sorting centers be omitted from this entire process in the first place by moving to direct deposit kiosks?
60. Is the new US “Recycling Done Right” campaign really more a matter of implementing direct deposit (which would mean recycling done right or 100% clean) versus continuing to put the blame on consumers for putting the wrong things into the bins?
61. Is the US “Recycling Done Right” campaign deflecting responsibility from recycling sorting centers onto consumers? If they evidently only sort it to meet a specific processing cost ( more is not spent on extra dirty heaps)?
62. Is it right to make an excuse for recycling exports from the US not being clean enough based on consumers following a system that has zero repercussions or rewards for doing the right thing? Is it fair for 2 people to pay for recycling and do it right, while 8 people put the wrong things into the bin?
63. Is it right to make an excuse for recycling centers for not sorting the waste appropriately based on cost and consumers not putting the right things into the bin – especially when we have had direct deposit for ages?
65. Can truck and trash collectors reduce the routes they currently have by about 50% but increase frequency if they switched their routes from homes to direct deposit kiosks at grocery and retail chains?
66. Can we make recycling dramatically less expensive + “clean” by overhauling the system we currently have by implementing direct deposit schemes that are known to be 90% more effective in generating clean waste and consumer participation? Especially if we only recycle 9% in the United States? Are we merely at the beginning of adopting recycling in the United States when only 91% of the market is lying around in landfills and untouched for processing into new items?
67. If direct deposit creates dramatically more clean product with less costs while ensuring that the chances of it landing into Chinese landfills or the ocean is superiorly lower – what is the right decision to make here?
68. If recycling has known that it does not produce clean waste for 17- 30 years – why have they never managed to change their strategy?
69. Is it the lobbyist who petition direct deposit schemes at grocery stores that prevent this from becoming a reality?
70. Or is it convenient to allow lobbyists to become an excuse for inefficient recycling to continue to pick it up at homes creating more jobs? Is it convenient or true to say that the jobs are more important than the recycling being clean if the government is saving billions of dollars in tons of landfill costs per year for every ton that gets classified as recycling? For example, in 2014, the US saved $4B dollars for exporting those 850M tons.
71. So, in fact, they save $4B in landfill fee’s and they make money off the jobs of the collection, trucks and all of that jazz? Right? Who’s benefit are dirty recycling exports when it lands into the oceans and now is in micro-plastic levels being found in human stool from ingestion of fish who ingested it?
Questions to ask on overstating recycling numbers to the public:
72. Of the 850M tons exported to Asia in 2014 – how many tons was actually recycled safely once in China? Is there data on the statistics of that? Do nations report the amount collected from their homes? Do they report the amount sent once it has been sorted to the best of their abilities domestically? Or do they report the ACTUAL amount that made it into a recycling plant in China? Which countries report which statistics?
73. If they do not report the rates of actual new product created, how much of recycling reporting is incorrect?
74. Is the definition of recycling reported the actual amount of new product produced by each countries contribution to China’s new recycled product or is it merely the amount collected and then sorted before it gets exported and handled by China?
75. How can consumers know the difference when there are no metrics to measure the differences in approach to reporting?
76. Why is there no universal reporting system to accurately deliver recycling rates? Or why do we not provide 5 different metrics: one for recycling waste collected in the US from households? One for waste that went to a landfill after being sorted in the US? One for recycling once it went to a US port for exportation? And then, one for the waste that was reused appropriately once it went to China? Does one bulk figure cover all the details?
Calculating Ocean Waste Damage by Your Countries Recycling:
77. If we have a proven hard number for the amount of waste that China incurred to it’s landfills based on it importing unprocessable foreign recycling imports (which is a 10-13% increase), then – what is the US percentage of that increase in their landfills that landed in the oceans. How much did each country exporting to China contribute to their landfills?
78. Of that 10-13% increase from foreign waste importation, what is the amount that was burned? How many people incurred cancer from foreign waste imports?
79. Of that 10-13% increase from foreign waste importation, what is the amount that landed in the ocean from ocean dumping or just blowing into it?
80. Of the many ways that recycling is mishandled in China and SE Asia, what are the other ways that it lands in the oceans if it is not via mismanaged Chinese landfills?
81. If there is waste trapped inside of exports that are now being sent to Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand based on needing to be cleaned and further sorted – what happens to this excess waste that is trapped inside of our exports when these countries only have 40% of their waste properly managed?
82. Is the waste brought in for further sorting to Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand – in other words all unprocessable items? Are all the things that are not sold properly landfilled? Are they burned? Or are they ocean dumped since these nations for the most part use the ocean as their landfill?
83. If we moved to direct deposit 17 years ago instead of increasing recycling bin sizes and increasing routes for pick-up of recycling by convincing more and more cities to offset their landfill waste with recycling – how much less plastic would currently sit in our oceans at this time?
84. Similarly, if recycling wasn’t exported based on further sorting needs before processing – meaning it was clean and didn’t ever get farmed to anywhere besides China to make it directly to a recycling facility with far fewer problems – then how much further along would Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and all the other Asian nations be with their OWN waste management infrastructure if they didn’t import dirty waste and spend their time cleaning ours versus make jobs for their own waste? Especially when there is clearly demand for the product?
85. If you truly wanted to reduce ocean plastic pollution isn’t the first thing you would think to do is prevent irresponsible nations from not focusing on their own waste by NOT imposing your waste on top of that chaos?
86. If you take away recycling sorting jobs in irresponsible nations like Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand does that force them to collect and sort their own waste to survive?
87. If you push for direct deposit in developed nations (US) by increasing demand for Direct Deposit machines wouldn’t that make direct deposit machines affordable for underdeveloped nations to have them too?
88. If we exposed recycling sooner versus waiting until China implemented standards, where would oil production be today? How much cleaner would the oceans be?
89. At what point does an inefficient system need to be halted, flagged, fined or reinvented if the government is the one running 50% of a recycling operations program? For example, in the United States municipalities are charged for the pick-up and then sorting is a cost managed by individual privately owned centers? If they run the program hand in hand and then split the recycling profits – who will we rely on when to correct the government on this issue?
90. When does the study from WHO (World Health Organization) get released evaluating the impacts of microplastics on organs ingested by humans after proving it has been found in human stool?
91.Why has it taken so long to investigate human stool versus all the animals that we have concluded have died tragic deaths due to plastic or waste ingestions? If we know that there is plastic in the fish we eat? The salt we cook with? The water bottles we drink from? Doesn’t make any sense that there should be a first of it’s kind study starting now in 2018?
92. When does a human go back into the same protection category as animals – why did we consider ourselves elite form the same investigation of ingestion problems for so long? Why only focus on animals like we are not also a part of the food chain?
93. When you see ocean pollution videos, why do you think it’s not that bad – because it is far away? But when we look at the 5 nations (China, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Phillipines, and Malaysia) contributing the most to ocean waste by only managing 40% of their regular waste appropriately, why do we not think to stop importing our waste to these nations if we want to stop ocean pollution?
Questions to ask yourself about why you recycle?
94. If you know where recycling goes, why do you still recycle?
95. When you look at the 700 species that have died due to ocean pollution and you say – oh well, it’s just animals.They don’t know any better and can’t avoid their deaths. Evolution will do the trick.What are you going to say when WHO releases their findings of microplastic ingestion by humans?
96. What if you are developing diseases from viruses that latch onto micro-plastics and end up getting stuck in your organs?
97. What technology is there to prevent micro-plastics that have been mass distributed (largely in part thanks to recycling inefficiency) to such an intensity, for so many years, that it is impossible to get what has already been distributed out of the system?
98. When has a feel-good lie gone too far?
99. At what point do you investigate your recycling centers versus waiting for Asian and SE Asian countries to take action on their nations recycling centers?
100. When do you investigate your government’s policies that allow and encourage your country to follow zero standards on creating clean recycling exports waste?
101. When do you stop waiting for China to shut-down their illegal recycling centers? When you do you stop waiting for Malaysia who shut down 114 illegal recycling centers leaving 13 remaining legal centers – with the waste of the 114 just sitting there with nowhere to go? When do you start regulating your own countries recycling centers? When do you force them to produce a waste process and standards that actually create clean recycling?
Questions about who should be paying whom to recycle?
102. Why are you still recycling when in reality they rely on you to do part of their manual labor? Especially now that it all goes to landfill or the ocean?
103. Why do you wait for your government to make these policies when they are relying on you to put it into the bin and they charge you to do that? Why don’t you just stop putting the thing into the bin and cut off their supply until they say “Oh! They figured it out.” Why are you paying for recycling when they should be paying you as I explained in the direct deposit system?
104. Why should your nation pay for ocean pollution clean-up and look at it as an expense, when it’s merely the tailend of recycling costs that you didn’t account for based on your irresponsible waste collection systems?
105. Should you prioritize spending money on your nations enhanced recycling first or should your nation get together with all the developed nations that have the same recycling mismanagement programs and tackle waste management infrastructure in Asian countries FIRST before they attempt to spend on their own recycling reinvention?
Questions on recycled packaging reform?
106. Why are we preventing packaging from being biodegradable and completely forgetting about recycling? Demand in developing nations will make biodegradable products less expensive for poor nations?
107. Why are developed nations not implementing the same scheme as big pharma – developed nations (the US) pays a premium on pharma so that underdeveloped nations pay less? But how about this time, we make it public knowledge that you are being charged a surcharge in a developed nation that is specifically 1-2% surplus to go specifically to serving under-developed Asian using plastic nations? But you keep that surplus at 1-2% and reduce it over time?
108. How about cutting to the chase and ban plastics all together? Make people use ONLY what we have in our oceans first? In our landfills? In our stools?
109. If you can’t imagine world without recycling, why don’t we have manufacturers who are dropping off new products to Home Depots, Carrefours, Basika’s and all stores in general – why are those same trucks not picking up the recycling goods create from it’s collection at direct deposit schemes in their empty trucks on the way back to distribution plants?
110. Why do we have municipality involved with recycling on any level at all? Why isn’t it the producers responsibility to oversee how it will recycle its own products?
111. If manufacturers are made to get rid of their products waste via direct deposit from grocery and retail outlet chains – will they hire sustainable design experts to fix the problem asap considering there are no markets for this stuff to be recycled meaning it becomes a cost center for them versus a profit center?
112. If the cost of managing the waste for manufacturers – which is called EPR (Extended Producers Responsibility) is enforced because you decide to STOP recycling – how much less waste will we have in landfill?
113. If we have less waste in landfill via EPR – how much less incineration has to take place?
114. If we have less waste incineration, less emissions from trucks running the same routes as the distribution how much can we reduce our environmental emissions?
115. If we get this far – will a degree in graphic design be one that involves understanding sustainable objectives?
116. If graphic design and engineering which impact packaging are sustainably executed then won’t marketing also become impacted to adjust pricing and communication around why these changes are happening?
117. If prices change in cost for products based on sustainable design, how will marketing keep sales going? Won’t they have to tell the corporate waste management story to justify the costs? Meaning instead of them feeding selling you on benefits they have created they will all be in a race to prove their sustainability efforts?
118. If we got all companies in the world to implement EPR could we achieve a zero-waste objective MUCH faster than we could without it?
119. Do you have any more questions to add to this?
Now! Imagine that all of these problems are happening in multiple countries at maximum speeds… where would the world be if recycling was exposed for what it is?
Where would recycling be without its greatest engine? The people who put it into bins in the first place?
Let me know in the comments… let’s solve ocean waste pollution problems.
If you missed my presentation to Everyday.Earth on “The State of Recycling in 2018” – watch it here on the group page.
Stumped or can’t find the answers by Googling this info for your country? Place the question into the comments and I will make it my personal responsibility to get something about it. And if you want the research that extends to the 119 questions as it pertains to the United States – you can also ask me as I have several links on file.
About the Author:
Hi, my name is Corinne Meier and I am CEO of MMG: Meier Marketing Global – Built to Last and I am usually found deep in the abyss of trends for all things digital, government, culture, and economy. I am hot on how micro-shifts in thinking lead to macro-shifts in user-behavior. I apply this collective wisdom when I counsel SMB to Fortune 500 on how to navigate consumers ever-changing preferences. If you prefer Twitter, please follow me there.
Thank you so much for listening to my thoughts and please don’t forget to share yours with me in the comments below!