Plastic solutions should be forced on producers

LETTER

Re: Move to reduce plastic waste, improve recycling habits.

I find it difficult to understand the reasoning behind this latest move in plastic recycling. We are told that only plastics marked 1 and 2 can now be recycled. All other plastic must now go in our rubbish and thus to the tip.

So, the move to “improve recycling habits” really means less plastic in the recycling bin and more in the rubbish bin.

Why must the burden of reducing plastic use always fall on the consumer? We do not create this plastic that turns into waste as soon as we open the package.

We are encouraged to look on the bottom for the 1 or 2 and purchase an alternative if we do not see one of them. Most often, there is no alternative.

So many of the supermarket products we buy are in plastic, again in most cases with no alternatives. If juices are not in plastic, they are usually in tetrapaks (unrecycleable).

There are a few bright spots, though. Whitaker’s chocolate bars are in paper, most herbs, teas and spices are in small jars or paper packaging. Most alcohol is in glass. There are many canned fruits, vegetables and sauces. There is the fresh produce section of the supermarket. Most dairy and water, I think, come with a 1 or 2 on the bottom of the bottle.

The consumer is being asked to be vigilant and avoid nasty plastics, even though it is impossible when buying many food items. Why not turn it all around and tell producers that they must, by such and such a year, eliminate all plastic packaging from their products? Doing that will make it happen.

Realistically, most shoppers are not concerned with what their purchases come in. A few of us are, but most are not. The real way to deal with this problem is to make the producers responsible for what they put their products in.

Stop blaming us consumers and put the blame where it belongs, which is on the producers.

Norman Weiss

Re: Move to reduce plastic waste, improve recycling habits.

I find it difficult to understand the reasoning behind this latest move in plastic recycling. We are told that only plastics marked 1 and 2 can now be recycled. All other plastic must now go in our rubbish and thus to the tip.

So, the move to “improve recycling habits” really means less plastic in the recycling bin and more in the rubbish bin.

Why must the burden of reducing plastic use always fall on the consumer? We do not create this plastic that turns into waste as soon as we open the package.

We are encouraged to look on the bottom for the 1 or 2 and purchase an alternative if we do not see one of them. Most often, there is no alternative.

So many of the supermarket products we buy are in plastic, again in most cases with no alternatives. If juices are not in plastic, they are usually in tetrapaks (unrecycleable).

There are a few bright spots, though. Whitaker’s chocolate bars are in paper, most herbs, teas and spices are in small jars or paper packaging. Most alcohol is in glass. There are many canned fruits, vegetables and sauces. There is the fresh produce section of the supermarket. Most dairy and water, I think, come with a 1 or 2 on the bottom of the bottle.

The consumer is being asked to be vigilant and avoid nasty plastics, even though it is impossible when buying many food items. Why not turn it all around and tell producers that they must, by such and such a year, eliminate all plastic packaging from their products? Doing that will make it happen.

Realistically, most shoppers are not concerned with what their purchases come in. A few of us are, but most are not. The real way to deal with this problem is to make the producers responsible for what they put their products in.

Stop blaming us consumers and put the blame where it belongs, which is on the producers.

Norman Weiss

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John Fricker - 3 months ago
I have some terrible news for you Mr Weiss, recyclables have been going to landfill worldwide ever since the nonsensical introduction of this practice. No doubt you are aware of the thousands of tonnes of Canadian plastic waste in limbo in the Philippines that nobody wants. South East Asia is responsible for much of the world's oceanic plastic pollution and doesn't need to import even more of the stuff.
Do you really believe that the consumer is innocent in this debacle?

Alan Loye - 3 months ago
Always remember that water bottlers do not produce water, they produce plastic bottles.

W. Gerrard - 3 months ago
Very good read and agree with you 100 percent Norman.

Mike Beale - 3 months ago
Plastic is mankind's waste product that no one wants. If it is not recyclable, as most of it seems to be nowadays, it has no value and therefore no one wants it. If plastic could be turned into a useful fuel to be used in cars etc it would have value and would not be polluting the world. Man can send rockets into space, make atomic weapons of mass destruction, but can't turn simple plastic waste into something useful. Recycling today is a joke.

Scott Imlah - 3 months ago
How about forcing the producers into using #1 and #2 by boycotting the products in those other non-recyclable containers? Nothing hurts producers more than having the bottom-line profit affected.