Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Advising President Obama on Plastics Recycling

One of the recent prompts on “Too Valuable to Waste,” the American Chemistry Council (ACC) blog summit on recycling, posed the question: “If you had the ability to work with and/or counsel the Obama administration on a national recycling agenda, what are the top three things that you believe would be critical components of the program?”  Several of the 11 blog contributors, as well as many people leaving comments, gave their advice to the Obama administration, including establishing energy credits, instituting sound tax policies, nurturing the recycling industry and analyzing proposed legislation. Across all of the posts a couple of common ideas emerged.

First – make recycling easier. Make single-stream (no sorting required) curbside recycling programs available to all communities, extending beyond major city lines, to make recycling more accessible for everyone.

Second – lead by example. Have you heard the phrase “Do as I say, not as I do?” If the leaders of the nation are not taking the time to recycle, it’s too easy for citizens to assume recycling isn’t important. President Obama, the White House, and Congress should all lead by example by establishing strong recycling communities and participating in them.

In his post, SPI President Bill Carteaux wrote that he would counsel the Obama administration to greatly expand waste-to-energy recycling in the Unites States. Citing how far behind the U.S. is compared to Western Europe and Asia in this area, Carteaux states that expanding waste-to-energy recycling is a great opportunity to create green jobs and is an effective way to turn plastics that are unable to be recycled into thermal energy to help power electricity generators.

Do you have any better ideas? What would you suggest?

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2 Responses to “Advising President Obama on Plastics Recycling”

  1. am i the only one who is not myopic about using PVC trade show badge holders at NPE ?

  2. Joel -

    Recycle bins will be ready and waiting at NPE2009 for all attendees to recycle their badge holders. In fact, from the 100,000 badge holders to 46 acres of carpet and more, SPI has collaborated with our partners to expand the NPE recycling program beyond the scope of our past shows. That’s pretty impressive when you consider that at NPE2006, more than 500,000 pounds of scrap plastic from the show floor were recycled by 70 participating companies and SPI’s designated show recycler. We’ve set the bar high to improve on these numbers at NPE2009.