In most states, when you buy a six-pack of beer, you pay a deposit up front for the bottles. Then, when you return the bottles, you get the money back. The point is: you get to take the items back.
This sort of ‘taking back’ is important – and it’s not the money I’m concerned about. It’s the incentive that’s provided to people so they return the bottles to the store so they’re not just tossed in the garbage.
Why isn’t it like this for more items that are piling up in landfills? When we buy items from stores, why don’t they charge us for the packaging or disposal and then when we return them, we get the money back?
Actually, I’d even settle for stores accepting the packaging for free. You’ve sold it – why not take responsibility for it?
Why Can’t Stores Recycle Packaging and Items They Sell?
Here are a few items I’d like companies to take responsibility for…
Costco is a good example. My family loves the organic apples at Costco – but we can plow through two containers of them in a month. The plastic containers the apples come in are huge – and no, Costco doesn’t want them back. (Yes, I have a love/hate thing with Costco.)
While I really like that Costco is selling more organic items, why can’t they recycle the plastic their goods are packaged in? Costco does recycle lots of cardboard and I appreciate that but the amount of goods packaged in plastic needs to be addressed.
We replaced all of the batteries in our smoke detectors recently and I stashed them in a container to recycle them. I’ve been dragging my used batteries to all of my dead battery drop off sites. These regular spots (Ikea, Best Buy, and my local market) are no longer taking them.
So many items and toys take batteries. It was almost impossible to find out what to do with these on our local government’s website.
Why can’t stores who sell batteries also have to take them back?
I’m not sure what styrofoam is or its origins but it’s everywhere. When purchasing trays of meat or chicken, it comes packaged on styrofoam. Having a picnic? Plates and cups are made of styrofoam. What about carry out containers from restaurants? Styrofoam “peanuts” get shipped with fragile items – or they’re getting blown by the wind down the street.
Will styrofoam ever break down sitting in a land fill? What is it exactly? Should we be putting food on it? Serving hot liquid in it?
We all need to buy items – even if we try to buy less. Can’t more companies emulate the ‘bottle bill’ and charge a deposit and let us return or accept the packaging? Or make it easier to recycle what we’ve purchased? Shouldn’t we hold these companies accountable?
What do you think? Do you have suggestions? Does your city provide a way to recycle these items?
Go Gingham related links:
Green living is often times grey – find out why here
Frugal and green living – of course they go together!
Once a month garbage collection – in a tiny can
My tour of Free Geek – yes, it’s geeky!
Companies are getting with it – More places to recycle electronics
More related links:
Live in Portland, Oregon? You’re in luck –