Many Americans take pride in their recycling efforts, as they sort paper from plastic, rinse away food waste and haul their blue bins out to the curb each week.
More than half of all Americans consider themselves eco-friendly, and often believe that recycling is the best action they can take to save the planet from overflowing garbage.
We hate to burst your bin-bubble, but recycling isn’t all it’s hyped up to be.
Why recycling isn’t saving the planet like you think
Recycling as we know it, isn’t as effective as many Americans believe. Take a look at these statistics:
- The U.S. recycles less than 22 percent of discarded materials.
- Recycling plants are for-profit businesses and recycling rates are stagnant, which means cities are forced to pay more to offer recycling to residents.
- As of 2015, more than two thousand cities across the nation pay to have their recyclables disposed of.
- The chief engineer of Waste Management referred to recycling as a “nationwide crisis” in an Washington Post article.
So, if recycling isn’t the eco-savior we hoped for, what can be done? It’s time for consumers to embrace a new sustainable concept: Refilling.
New technology may trump recycling
Rather than sort and separate dozens of bottles, why not refill them? Think about the waste you eliminate if you refill your laundry detergent, your favorite kitchen cleaner or that bottle of perfume you love.
Refilling bottles provides a zero-waste solution. Think about it. There wouldn’t be a need to sort, separate, rinse, recycle, or throw away a bottle ever again. The zero-waste movement is already catching on in Europe, and it’s making a big impact on waste management and environmental sustainability.
Refilling would also put an end to confusing recycling rules. Every city has its own rules. You can recycle water bottles caps in one city, for example, but in the neighboring town plastic caps are a recycling no-no.
With refill technology, the rules are simple. Bring your empty bottle into your local retail store and set it inside a refill station, which can sit right in the laundry aisle, for example. Just put the bottle inside, tell the machine what you want refilled, and your bottle is washed, refilled and sealed.
Retailers are keeping this technology quiet
Retailers know that refillable technology exists, but they’re keeping it on the downlow. Why? For starters, no one likes change, least of all big corporations. Most importantly, they don’t know there is a demand for this technology.
This is where you come in
It’s time for consumers just like you to tell your local retailers that you want to see refill stations in your local store.
Take a minute to sign the petition below and let retailers know you want a refillable option for your favorite detergents, cleaners, fragrances and more. You’ll get the same products you know and love, but without the waste.