Recycling is not enough

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RECYCLING IS NOT ENOUGH. It’s sunk in that we can’t landfill or incinerate our way out of the waste crisis. There is no ‘away’ where we can throw things. Unfortunately lots of businesses seem to think that recycling alone is the answer. Recycling is great for glass, metal, paper (when powered by renewable energy) as part of a closed loop, regenerative system. Plastics are a different kettle of fish (and those fish are full of micro plastics). Only certain plastics can be recycled and only once or twice at best, meaning the material is downgraded each time. It requires fossil fuels to make and energy to recycle and there’s no regenerative opportunity. Everything we make must go back to the earth as poison or food. There are huge technological advances being made in breaking down plastics with bacteria, creating bio-plastics and recovering plastic from the environment. However there’s a reason that REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE is in that order and the best technological solutions won’t be able to deal with the amount of useless plastic currently being pumped into the system. Plastic isn’t bad, it’s the pinnacle of human ingenuity, giving us fridges, phones and incubators. But the way we use it for pointless throwaway items is the pinnacle of human stupidity. What’s your business doing to disrupt the system? Relying on recycling alone is just business as usual.

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