Monday is America Recycles Day. I think I've been covering recycling long enough to be excused for being a little cynical.
At its worst, the day can be a cliché — I've gone to recycling day events that celebrate the individual person recycling but gloss over the hard questions, like exactly how can we build systems to raise the U.S.'s dismal 26 percent PET bottle recycling rate.
But times are changing. There's a lot more serious thinking going on today. Case in point: an industry group, an environmental NGO and a research firm Nov. 11 came out with a joint proposal around how to build a well-designed, nationwide container deposit system.
The Can Manufacturers Institute, the US Public Interest Research Group and the consultancy Reloop North America put out a statement describing using the private sector to build out infrastructure, following oversight and targets from governments.
There's a lot of "outside the bottle" thinking these days. It reminds me of this mid-September call from the National Association for PET Container Resources, CMI and the Glass Packaging Institute, for similar, well-designed deposit systems.
All the plastics industry's trade groups, like the American Chemistry Council and the Plastics Industry Association, should get on board with NAPCOR and the others. Deposits seem like a no-brainer to us, like this column from my boss, Plastics News Editor Don Loepp, explains.