1. Aleyda Santos
  2. Waste Management
  3. Thursday, 16 April 2020
I am the founder of Gaia Initiatives, a startup in the Netherlands and I am promoting the collection of PET plastic ONLY, implying sorting and separate collection, as I want to collect clean, uncontaminated plastic to extend the life cycle of the PET plastic and support the introduction of recycled plastic into the new product.

I want to promote the circular consumption of such resource as I see in every disposed bottle, money and energy wasted, and I imagine a system whereby all the bottles disposed of are recycled and reproduced into a new bottle that can be reuse. With the new commitment to introducing gradually recycled plastic in new products, we could tackle plastic waste pollution.

But I am not able to kick my business off because the earning that the plastic waste would generate is too small, insufficient to cover any expenses, the collected plastic waste is trade by tonnes! and 1 tonne of plastic represent an average 55,000 bottles!!! a huge quantity that will earn at the most 400 Euro!!!
And when we hear the presentation of the plastic waste pollution they come back to the same conclusion: the collection is too costly and nobody wants to bear the costs. What an irony. On the other hand, a cafeteria can easily make 157,000 Euro a year for just selling bottle beverages, while paying close to nothing for the disposal of the waste.

Now, doing this type of project is developed countries is more complicated because there are more players involved. The

Now, I would like to hear what members of this community think of the plastic waste and the linear consumption that our society has, particularly with bottled beverages. And I also would like to hear what do you think could work to tackle plastic pollution and waste of resource
References
  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acMaWZr9zi4&t=1s
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hi Aleyda

I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling to find an economically viable business model.

Personally, I believe we should be phasing out all single use petrochemical plastics, including PET.

As for what happens in the interim. Firstly, we should ban all not recyclable beverage packaging. Then, I believe that it should be required by law to charge a small refundable deposit on PET bottles and guarantee that returns are recycled, preferably locally. Similar legislation should apply to glass bottles and aluminum cans.

Here's a Wikipedia page which lists numerous jurisdictions where there's container deposit legislation:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Container-deposit_legislation
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Waste Management
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hi Aleyda

You said you, "would like to hear what do you think could work to tackle plastic pollution and waste of resource".

You've probably heard of the The Ocean Cleanup Project which is trying to eliminate the The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. What you may not know is that they've also begun rolling-out a technology that removes rubbish from the world's 1,000 most polluting rivers before it can enter the oceans. They say that roughly 80% of all ocean pollution comes from these rivers. So if it lives-up to expectations, this could drastically reduce the problem.

Of course, it would be nice if rubbish did not end-up in our streets and waterways in the first place. This GreenExecutive forum post by Lisa Wilson talks about ideas for preventing rubbishing from being discarded onto land which would thereby prevent it from being washed into waterways.

I agree with Ben Bailey about the need to ban non-recyclable single-use beverage containers and have deposit legislation for recyclable containers. That said, my understanding is that there are drawbacks with all of the current mainstream options for recyclable bottles and cans (eg. PET, glass, aluminium). Fortunately, there's a lot of R&D taking place to try to find something better. Hopefully, more viable options will be discovered and widely adopted.
Adam Thyer, Founder at GreenExecutive
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Waste Management
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I just stumbled on this report by the Rethink Plastic Alliance. It's about transitioning from single use plastics to, "...modern-day, smart reusable systems that preserve our finite resources, and protect our natural environments." I haven't had time to read it in detail yet, but it looks quite informative.
Adam Thyer, Founder at GreenExecutive
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Waste Management
  3. # 3
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