What goes through your mind when you feel you might have been lied to?
What do you think when it is possible you have been moonlighting for free while under the belief you were doing something for the betterment of the planet?
Interesting questions depending on where you live and who picks up your recycling. Remember a while back we discussed public perception related to social license?
Let us think about an alleged, very deceitful practice that has come to light. It appears in many communities Canadians and Americans have been shamed, bullied and convinced to recycle plastic and who knows what else. We see promotional programs about what companies are doing to make the planet a better place to live. That is a good thing isn’t it? Well maybe.
For some time China was taking our recyclable waste now they are not. So the answer? Many waste companies are shipping your garbage waste, plastic, paper and packaging wrap, old appliances etc off to Vietnam and Indonesia and anywhere else they can find a nook or cranny to dispose of it. Families sort through it and take what they can sell the rest goes to a new home, some of it even in the Ocean.
Our domestic recovery is about ten percent according to some so that means ninety percent is sent off shore, and much of it as pollution drifts back onto our shore. Yes in many cases we are allegedly being lied to by some companies and various levels of government, Feel better knowing you have an unpaid part time job sorting garbage? I don’t mind doing it if I am not being hoodwinked into believing something that is not true. It also does not mean we stop sorting and recycling.
So now that we know what do we do? First ask our local company or companies for assurances in writing that they are not engaged in deceptive practices.
Secondly we must challenge governments to legislate to make sure our standards are enforced and the responsibility of the companies does not become someone else s problem. We must legislate shipping and packaging laws to ensure the container is not way bigger than the content inside the package. Here is an idea. If we want people to sort and do the recycling for free then companies should not be allowed to pass on costs to consumers for oversized packaging. Even more of an incentive have the place of purchase take the recycled packaging. Before you cry out it would not work think about it.
Under those conditions would the store carry products with oversized packaging? A friend of mine has an idea and on occasion has done what I am about to propose. When buying a product wit excessive packaging he unpacks it right after purchase at the til. Maybe more of us should do that.
The oceans are filling with plastic, landfills are expanding at an unprecedented rate and something has to be done to address the issue. A good start would be to have the companies who are engaged in unethical practices to start being honest, and governments at all levels, level with the public about what is really going on.
I am sure we can sort this mess out to everyone’s satisfaction.