Opinion | Can Recycling’s Problems Be Fixed?


To the Editor:

Re “The Complicated Truth About Recycling,” by Oliver Franklin-Wallis (Opinion visitor essay, Dec. 3):

All of us must recycle paper, cardboard, glass and steel, and compost yard waste and meals scraps. However we have to be sincere in regards to the failure of plastic recycling.

People are more and more conscious that over 94 % of the plastics they use are not recycled, as a result of they’re not recyclable. There are too many various colours and totally different polymers, and 1000’s of various chemical components that make it very difficult to recycle plastics. The plastics trade has recognized this for years, however it has plowed tens of millions of {dollars} into promoting designed to deceive customers.

There actually is not any solution to enhance plastic recycling charges. The answer? Manufacture and use much less plastic. Alternate options to plastic are throughout us.

Plastic is being produced at an alarming rate, and it’s expected to double within the subsequent 20 years. Counting on plastic recycling is like making an attempt to mop water from an overflowing bathtub whereas the tap remains to be working. It’s time to show off the plastic faucet.

Judith Enck
Poestenkill, N.Y.
The author is a former E.P.A. regional administrator and present president of Past Plastics.

To the Editor:

With 2.5 million beverage containers buried, burned or littered each minute, Oliver Franklin-Wallis contributes a much-needed critique of recycling. However what a missed alternative to focus on a confirmed various — deposit return methods — and name out the true offender: company producers. They’re totally chargeable for making and advertising and marketing single-use merchandise and packaging, but they’re fully unaccountable for managing the big waste they create.

Blaming customers for the failures of recycling perpetuates a false narrative. Recycling originated with the very corporations producing disposable packaging, as a way to shift the cleanup burden on to taxpayers.

We received’t recycle our method out of the present disaster. However readers must know there may be “recycling with outcomes” that comes with deposit return methods. In “bottle invoice” states, beverage containers are recovered and recycled in a closed loop, attaining recycling charges double or greater than states with solely curbside recycling.

In Europe, trendy deposit return methods are proving a potent software for conserving sources and lowering waste and carbon emissions. Cease the waste at its supply and finish the round debate on recycling.

Elizabeth Balkan
Brooklyn
The author is director of Reloop North America.

To the Editor:

The plastics trade agrees: Recycling remains to be the best choice to maintain waste out of our surroundings, as Oliver Franklin-Wallis concludes.

He mentions our advocacy initiative “Recycling Is Real,” which highlights the trade’s dedication to recycling and the hardworking individuals who make it occur each day.

The reality is, we want we didn’t must create this marketing campaign, however sadly there may be quite a lot of misinformation about recycling in our nation. Activist organizations truly inform People that recycling is a “fantasy” and, in some instances, to not hassle recycling in any respect.

The plastics trade desires to recycle extra, which is why corporations throughout our trade work tirelessly to enhance recyclability and make investments billions of {dollars} into the applied sciences to recycle and the prevention of waste.

There are numerous methods we are able to enhance recycling charges within the U.S. We want correct and up-to-date information on recycling charges, enchancment to our recycling infrastructure and higher entry to recycling for extra communities.

The plastics trade is already on the desk, ready to work collectively towards public coverage proposals, actual investments and improvements to enhance recycling all over the world. We want companions to sit down subsequent to us and work to realize our shared sustainability aims.

Recycling may be very actual. It’s necessary that People hear this reality and encourage others to recycle extra. If we decide to recycling, we are able to preserve plastic in our economic system and out of our surroundings.

Matt Seaholm
Washington
The author is president and C.E.O. of the Plastics Trade Affiliation.

To the Editor:

In her Dec. 5 column, “A Backlash to Campus Protests Threatens Speech,” Michelle Goldberg argues strongly for her central level: “If we don’t need escalating bigotry to allow escalating repression, we have to err on the facet of speech.”

Whereas I disagree with Ms. Goldberg on whether or not anti-Zionism constitutes a type of antisemitism (I imagine it does), I additionally imagine that critics of Israel have the correct to specific their views on campus, wanting calling for or supporting violence.

However the seeds of the present controversy over threats to campus free speech had been planted years in the past, with enforced censorship of perceived verbal “microaggressions,” the claimed want for “set off warnings” of probably offensive literary references, in addition to administrative reprimands — or worse — for school who don’t adhere to progressive political and mental orthodoxies (i.e., “cancel tradition”).

Faculty authorities ought to oppose overt bigotry and intimidation and condemn them. However we are able to, as Ms. Goldberg advocates, put a cease to escalating campus repression and err on the facet of speech and tutorial freedom, or we are able to preserve increasing the definition of disallowed thought and expression, selling and defending solely sure favored viewpoints. Clearly, not each.

Alan M. Schwartz
Teaneck, N.J.

To the Editor:

Does anyone bear in mind the “teach-ins” in the course of the Vietnam Battle interval?

As a substitute of college directors silencing outraged college students, remaining silent within the face of hyperboles, or publishing equivocal statements to assuage critics and donors, why don’t they arrange teach-ins to teach the various college students whose data of Israeli, Hamas and Palestinian relations is scarce if not distorted?

These teach-ins ought to be instructional occasions, not for propaganda and denunciation of 1 facet or the opposite. Will not be instructing the prime perform of universities?

Get up, college directors! No extra double speak. Clarify to college students the information behind the dogmatic jargon and the true tragedies that we see earlier than us.

Vivian R. Gruder
New York
The author is emerita professor of historical past at Queens Faculty, CUNY.

To the Editor:

Re “Hollywood Is Wrangling Over What to Holster” (entrance web page, Nov. 27), in regards to the aftermath of the killing of a cinematographer on the “Rust” movie set:

There’s a easy resolution to this problem: The leisure trade might cease making movies and TV applications that glamorize gun violence. Drawback solved.

Michelle Finamore
Salem, Mass.

To the Editor:

Pricey New York Instances: Congratulations on the publication of your 60,000th problem on Dec. 12 — an nearly incomprehensible achievement.

Every day, for the 45 years of our marriage, my spouse has refused to fall asleep at night time till she has completed studying that day’s paper cowl to cowl. In reality, she credit The Instances with the success and longevity of our marriage.

Hey, wait a minute …

Randy Heller
Larchmont, N.Y.



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