In the News: Neil Seldman
May 13, 2020
Media Outlet: Northern California Recycling Association
Neil Seldman, Director of ILSR’s Waste to Wealth initiative, wrote a letter to the editor explaining how to avoid issues with plastic packaging without putting the decision-making power in the hands of corporations.
Companies respond to hard mandates… Citizens have been providing these hard mandates for 50 years: mandatory recycling and composting, container deposits, waste surcharges and more. Organized citizens and small businesses have been the engine of recycling in the US. Waste and beverage companies fight to repeal yard debris bans, bottle bills and most recently use state preemption to quash local initiatives such as bans on single use plastics. Recycling has gotten us to 35% despite wrongheaded solutions posed by industry to reduce waste: large scale incineration, single stream recycling and the Chinese debacle. Some cities have reached 50%, 60% and even 70% recycling.
Neil also shared a list of proven recycling solutions:
- Product Stewardship in which companies pay into funds to support municipal programs
- Minimum recycled content for products sold
- Taxes on packaging, especially hybrids
- Carbon tax to increase the value of materials with embedded energy, labor and extraction costs
Photo via Flickr.