Recycling Plastic, It’s More Than A Challenge. It Is A Must!

Recycling Plastic, It’s More Than A Challenge. It Is A Must!

Robert Austin discusses the challenges of recycling plastics as well as recent advances in plastic recycling. He also emphasizes how improving plastic recycling aligns with the "doing more with less" mindset on Buckminster Fuller's Spaceship Earth.

Robert Austin

When you say recycling to most people, they think of putting their used soft drink bottles, ketchup bottles, and salad dressing bottles into that blue can with the three arrows arranged in a triangle.  If they do that, they feel they have met their responsibility.  Well, honestly, it is a good start, but a lot more needs to be done. And I believe most people would step up to the task if they understood just how much of a difference it could make in reducing the CO2 in our atmosphere and improving the appearance and livability of our planet.

Recycling home refuse is an idea that has been around for half a century or more. For most people, it consists of separating the plastics, glass, and metal containers…. which can be recycled, from the food waste and contaminated cleaning products, and spoiled foods, which must go to landfills.  The nasty material that we do call garbage can be a source of energy as well, as it puts out methane and other gasses as it decomposes. They can be harvested and burned to generate electricity if we wish.  We used to incinerate the garbage rather than put it in landfills. It was more compact and easier to haul when it was just ashes.  But when I was growing up in the Bronx, I can attest that it made for some filthy and foul-smelling air.