Regular Paleblue Earth customers know exactly where we stand on the recycling topic. We are all for it. In fact, one of the reasons we decided to get into rechargeable batteries was a desire to encourage recycling while simultaneously keeping single-use batteries out of our landfills. We realize that recycling alone will not save the planet. But it is an important contributor to a more sustainable future.
With all that said, some of our team members took great interest in a CleanRiver post from last year, a post that predicted a few key changes to recycling we might expect to see with the next five years. Only time will tell if the predictions prove accurate. Here's hoping they do.
1. More Recyclable Plastics
The bane of existence for many a sustainability advocate is single-use plastics. In theory, all plastics are recyclable. But in practice, that is not the way it works. Some plastics are much harder to recycle than others. Therefore, they get thrown away instead.
CleanRiver predicts that we will be using more recyclable plastics in the future. We will find a way to reduce our dependence on plastics that are too hard to recycle in favor of those that are much easier to recycle, like PET and HDPE.
2. Better Municipal Recycling Programs
Municipal recycling has historically been a losing proposition. It is not because recycling is too difficult or even impossible. It's because municipalities have relied on processes that don't work. But according to CleanRiver, this is changing.
Cities and towns that want to continue recycling are abandoning old ways that don't work in favor of new processes and strategies. As more towns and cities turn recycling into a viable enterprise, perhaps those that have already quit recycling will get back on board.
3. Better Recycling Facilities
Municipal recycling failures are partially attributable to recycling facilities that are both inefficient and unprofitable. But again, CleanRiver says things are changing. We are starting to see a move toward better recycling facilities that combine the latest technologies with recycling innovations to do a better job of recycling more materials. CleanRiver predicts significant improvements in recycling facility operations over the next five years.
4. An Emerging Reprocessing Industry
Finally, CleanRiver predicts a transition away from separated trash and recycling in favor of something known as reprocessing. Waste haulers will no longer just transport trash to landfills and recyclable materials to processing plants. They will also be transporting all sorts of materials that can be reprocessed, materials they actually recover from the trash they collect.
It is not exactly clear how the reprocessing industry will work. But CleanRiver predicts that a scarcity of resources will create the need for both material reprocessing and better recycling.
Where We Stand
Here at Pale Blue Earth, we have our own ideas as to where recycling is headed. We won't get into them here. Rather, we will say that we are in full support of any and all efforts to create a more sustainable future through better recycling, less waste, and any other means people can think of. We will do our part by continuing to promote USB rechargeable batteries over their disposable counterparts.If you want to join us in our efforts to rid the world of single-use batteries, make a commitment to only buying rechargeable batteries from this point forward. Every USB rechargeable battery from Pale Blue Earth can replace 1,000+ single-use batteries. That is a lot of batteries you can personally keep out of landfills and incinerators. As for the future of recycling, here's hoping all of CleanRiver's predictions actually come to fruition.