Regarding Don Loepp's Viewpoint on plastic marine debris [“Ocean's vortex offers tough lesson in 3 R's,” Sept. 14, Page 6], I applaud his opinion.
We have all read many times in Plastics News the industry's view that manufacturers of plastics are not to blame for litter and all of the negative things that environmentalists hate about plastics.
In my opinion, the plastics industry should stop fighting legislation against plastics (bans, taxes, etc.) that address environmental responsibility. Instead, they should start to embrace and help mold it for the benefit of the plastics industry by helping to give incentive to consumers in reducing waste and increasing recycling.
So, to answer Loepp's question, “How best to change human behavior and discourage the throwaway culture?”
To me, the answer is simple: The plastics industry should support an aggressive national “bottle/bag bill” that includes all kinds of plastic containers, including water bottles and other types of plastic bottles and containers. This type of legislation works in many states to reduce waste and increase recycling, making throwaway plastics valuable through consumers being able to easily and conveniently redeem them for cash. This legislation would need to work in harmony with a system that sorts and delivers the throwaway plastics to recycling centers to insure they are actually recycled.
So, does the plastics industry want to solidify its future existence by making the consumer profitable via recycling for money, or does the plastics industry want to keep on fighting the unwinnable fight that it is not to blame for plastics litter?
It's time to stop crying, “It's not my fault!” and time to start doing something that works.
Carlos R. Petzold
Bodam International Ltd.