Greenpeace Recycling Report: Plastics recycling isn’t working, but this creates new opportunities for reduce and reuse

Greenpeace’s new report shows recycling is not the answer to plastic pollution. But we can harness the public’s attention and direct it toward real solutions, including:

  1. Stop the stupid stuff - We need to stop the stupid stuff like the unnecessary single-use packaging when you’re out to eat or at an event.
  1. Create reusable systems to get what we want without the waste - With businesses now providing reusable services for to-go cups and containers - and even products delivered to your home - we can get what we want without all the waste.
  1. Make business responsible for solutions - All over Europe and Canada, consumer brands have to pay for the collection and recycling of their packaging. In these places, businesses are incentivized to design packaging and recovery systems that work. We could do that here and change the game for plastic pollution.

Some examples of solutions in action:

  1. Nearly 1 million people live in cities that have passed Reusable Foodware Ordinances (In North America). There are nearly 1 million people living in cities that have passed reusable foodware ordinances. These new initiatives make it so that when you sit down to eat, you’re served on real plates with real cups and cutlery. They also help pave the way for businesses to set up reusable to-go systems. 936,158 - population of cities that have passed the ordinance - (Berkeley, Fairfax, San Anselmo, Santa Cruz, Watsonville (CA)  and Vancouver, BC); Active campaigns in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City.
  1. Many new businesses are coming online to provide reusable services to reduce waste and plastic pollution. Many new businesses are coming online to provide reusable services for large-scale venues, restaurants and cafes. These companies are showing that reuse can be convenient, fun and even save money.
  1. Cities and states are looking at new legislation requiring consumer brands to pay for the recycling of their packaging. There has been a resurgence of interest in legislation requiring consumer brands to clean up their act by paying to recycle their packaging.