CAPA, Faculty News

Enck: The Myths and Truths About Recycling

Senior fellow and visiting faculty member Beyond Plastics president Judith Enck has been featured in Forbes to discuss Beyond Plastics, shifting the waste reduction burden from the consumer to the producers, and the crucial need to hold companies accountable.

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On July 12, Forbes published "Beyond Plastics: The Myths And Truths About Recycling, And Potential Solutions," which discusses the global concern and pervasiveness of plastic. From Forbes: "An estimated 242 million metric tons of it is generated every year, and the United States is one of the top generators. While recycling sounds like a simple solution, it’s not. Plastic recycling has proven to be ineffective, as evidenced by a shocking statistic from Our World in Data: Out of the 5.8 billion metric tons of plastic waste generated between 1950 and 2015, only about 9% of it has been recycled."

The article refers to an in-depth interview Enck gave to Forbes that was published on June 27, where Enck was asked to comment on new proposals called Extended Producer Responsbility policies. She tells Forbes, “I think we can do a whole lot better than getting money to pay for plastics recycling, which we’ve learned does virtually nothing to actually solve the plastic problem. The European Union has had an EPR for packaging directive in place for years. But when we talked with people in Europe, we realized that while it was good to get the funding for recycling, it didn’t do anything to actually help with plastic reduction, so to speak. Plastic reduction is where our focus needs to be; not just on recycling."