By Douglas Woodring
- Published on August 11, 2014 by Wharton Journal
Pound for pound, plastic is more valuable than steel, but when plastic is not aggregated, recyclers aren’t always able to work their magic to reuse this material and return it to use as a new product. In some countries, collection is done well. They have a deposit for the bottles, which are then returned into the system, keeping them out of our environment. Most countries, however, do not have such incentive programs, and collection is therefore limited, making it very difficult to achieve economies of scale solving the “first mile” problem, which is getting the material from the consumer’s hands to the recycling infrastructure. When you combine this with the fact that there is insufficient infrastructure, including a lack of drop-off and collection locations, it is easy to understand why bottles get left behind with the rest of the trash.