The maelstrom of bad publicity around plastics poses challenges for all. Policy-makers must set a framework for change, manufacturers must reconsider product design, consumers must address wasteful buying and disposal habits, and recyclers must respond to the used materials coming down the tracks.
The plastics industry does not deserve such a bad press because, for the most part, it has responded to the markets and not driven them.
Recyclers have their own worries China now that Beijing has pulled up the drawbridge against most of our secondary material exports. While plastic has again been to the fore, this issue considers the implications for fibre recyclers with insiders talking of an industry at breaking point facing ‘seismic’ change.
There will inevitably be longer-term solutions to replace Chinese exports but in the immediate future we need a shared approach to respond. And that has to be led by Westminster.
A retailer’s smart approach to closing the loop with their white goods is highlighted in Andrea Lockerbie’s excellent feature on AO.
Not only does AO ensure that ‘waste’ resources are recycled – or reused – efficiently, it also benefits from making it easier for customers buying AO’s new products.
Talk of a game-changing initiative seems appropriate at this stage in the venture.