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Plastic bags– Not recyclable.
Straws– Not recyclable.
Coffee Cups– you need a special machine; without it, no.
Keyboards– maybe, if you get it to the right person.
“Recycling” is determined by two really important things: the market and city government. If there’s a demand in the market, then recyclers and companies will pay for your post-consumer recyclables.
But without a market demand, those recyclables are almost useless; placing them in the recycling bin won’t make a difference if you can’t make money off of them. If the demand isn’t there, or the quality of the materials post-use is incurably dirty, they end up in landfill or incinerators.
Your local government also plays an essential role. Government regulations create market opportunities for companies to recycle legally-mandated products. But every municipality is different. Before you throw something away, check what your city actually recycles.
Public investment in recycling systems, moreover, is integral to their long-term sustainability and success. While the price of purchasing a new piece of plastic is far cheaper than paying someone’s salary to manage and sort recyclables, the environmental cost is substantially greater. Subsidies, investments and public support go a long way.
Posted: Thursday 19 December 2019
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