November 15 was America Recycles Day, a trashy holiday sponsored by the American Chemistry Council and the Keep America Beautiful people, in turn sponsored by, among others, Anheuser-Busch, Pepsico, cigarette companies Altria and the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco company, all of whom are devoted to producing plastic, putting stuff into disposable bottles and filling our gutters with butts. A day devoted to convincing Americans to pick up what is essentially corporate waste, the byproduct of a culture of disposability.
This is the day they make tear-jerking videos about how a bottle really wants to be a bench, overlooking the ocean somewhere.We have been covering America Recycles Day for many years; here is a roundup of some of our posts on the subject.
Today is America Recycles Day, the annual greenwashing homage to a culture of disposability
The sponsors of this grand event have a new campaign, "I want to be recycled" in which a plastic bottle cries out "I want to be a bench." It's an interesting bit of anthropomorphism, kind of like a human considering reincarnation and saying "I want to be a slug", for as William McDonough and Michael Braungart pointed out in Cradle to Cradle, there's not much else that bottle can aspire to, and to be a bench it has to be mixed with fungicides, stabilizers, chemical and mineral additives and more. Not to disparage slugs, but it really is a lower form of life. More in TreeHugger
TreeHugger proudly premiered this video about recycling, made by our own Margaret Badore, and provided our own list of the 7 Rs that beat recycling:
- Reduce: Just use less.
- Return: Producers should take back what they sell.
- Reuse: Almost boring, but we throw too much stuff out too soon.
- Repair: Fix and mend things rather than replacing them.
- Refill: In Ontario Canada, 88% of beer bottles are returned to the beer store, washed and refilled; just south of the border in the USA, the number drops to under 5%.
- Rot: Compost what is left over, turning it into valuable nutrients.
- Refuse: Simply refuse to accept this crap from the manufacturers any more.
Happy Zero Waste Day, The Event Formerly Known as America Recycles Day
Well, we tried to change it. We proposed a different kind of holiday, a Zero Waste day:
- Support a restaurant that has real mugs and china.
- Support companies that practice corporate responsibility and take their products back at end of life.
- Buy only fresh food that comes without packaging.
- Don't buy anything disposable for just one day.
and the one that started it all:
Lets call recycling what it is- a fraud, a sham, a scam perpetrated by big business on the citizens and municipalities of America.... Enough. Throwing stuff away isn't green, even if it goes into a blue or green bin. It is still throwing stuff away. More in TreeHugger