Day 4: Oct. 16, 2009

January 27, 2010

So what did I do with this information? Nothing; I filled it in the “miscellaneous” section of my research hoping to return to it on a rainy day. After several days of stewing over my ethical quandaries about information classified as “proprietary,” I realized that these concerns shouldn’t be the ones dictating the direction of my research. Instead, I should be concentrating on real issues; issues, that if dealt with logically and by someone with a genuine commitment to sustainability, could enhance the sustainability profile of the plastics industry. What is the main problem with our industry’s current approaches to production, use and disposal of packaging materials, I asked myself?

I thought back to the SPC meeting in Atlanta; one of the speakers was the CEO of the Fost Plus system in Belgium, which is, in a nut shell, the business manifestation of an industry-led initiative that looks to increase the material recovery rate of packaging materials post-consumer. Because Belgium foresaw the ramifications of the 1994 EU Directive on Packaging Waste, it was in their interest to set up an economically sustainable material recovery infrastructure to meet the future legislation’s requirements. And the result: Belgium is at a 96% packaging materials recovery rate. WOW.

So where does this bring me? It brings me to the real issue: the recycling infrastructure in America. Looks like it’s time to do more research. Tune in tomarow to see the latest facts and figures about recycling in America.

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