It's concerning that despite the public emphasis on sustainability, the recycling rates are not where they should be.
It's a complex issue. “It takes a village” to make a circular economy so maybe the industry is due for more collaboration… from packaged goods companies to packaging companies to waste processors to municipalities.
Without changes in the waste collection and processing infrastructure, best opportunities exist for packaging that aligns with existing recycling infrastructure.
We need to know that we’re talking about the same things though. So we have accurate and consistent understanding about progress and areas for improvement.
Right, like exactly how is “access to recycling” defined? In my neighborhood, aseptic cartons are not collected (that darn internal layer) even with a really expansive curbside collection service.
I’d quibble with calling it “access” if you have to drive 50 miles or pay them to take your recyclables, like with pouches and toothpaste tubes.
So would most consumers. That’s why there are still so many disputes over accurate labeling.
Some would quibble with calling store drop off or a central drop-off collection point as “access” but at least that’s a start. It’s also perhaps more likely to be a clean collection than a single-stream curbside collection.
Still, it's not just about recycling but creating a system where all materials are reused efficiently. Like we’ve said before – there is no silver bullet to solve the problem and there are no materials that are “good” or “bad”… just ones that solve the problem best for a particular application.