Recently there was an article posted on GreenBiz.com about recycling and composting efforts in San Francisco. In 2008, through recycling and composting, the city diverted 77% of its garbage from landfills – a national record. In 2009 the city instituted a mandatory recycling and composting program for all residences and businesses. Composting rose 45% since then measuring 600 tons of compost-able material a day compared to 400 tons a year ago. This is truly an amazing effort.
When we work with clients we try to confirm their interest in sustainable packaging. In explaining to them the plus side of packaging their products in a more sustainable configuration we notice a certain amount of fear on their part. Change can be difficult for some and not all our contacts have the authority to make these changes so readily. What should we do then?
Part of what we tell them is to simply rethink the materials they specify. Some are more prone to a recyclable nature than others and can be used without a noticeable difference. Others may cost a bit more due to availability or quantities. Either way a step in the right direction would be made. A big consideration to this equation is the issue of recycling and what materials are used. On a recent tour of a waste facility we noted that although all plastic was taken, the only plastic used in recycling was pop, milk and water bottles. With that said, an effort to get municipalities on board in regards to recycling need to start. Another day, another story to tackle. In the meantime, consider your packaging and what steps, no matter what size, you want to take.
As a footnote to this entry, we have a huge bag of clamshell samples we were planning to take home and put in the recycle bin. Then we realized that it would just all end up in the landfill. So, we’re going to grind them all up and transport and sell them back to the extruder to go back into production.
A step in the right direction.