Recyclable plastic products have a numeric code on them, called a Resin identification code (1 to 7), indicating what kind of plastic they are and how they can be recycled.
But in Melbourne (and, I suspect, much of the world) only types 1, 2 and 3 can be recycled. This leaves an awful lot of theoretically recyclable plastics going into landfill (or worse, into the recycle bins, where it needs to be removed by the waste management people, thus making recycling more expensive).
Evidently it’s not yet generally economically viable to recycle codes 4 to 7. Perhaps pressure should be placed on manufacturers to use 1, 2 and 3 where possible in their products.
While visiting Josh, Cathy and their new baby Owen yesterday, Josh said there are rumours afoot that some of Melbourne’s local councils are on the verge of making the investment in the technology to recycle more types of plastic.
Josh, a long-time battler of litter and waste, has started saving plastic waste for the day when it can be collected and recycled by his council. Given the huge amount of waste us westerners are burying in the ground, hopefully that day isn’t too far away.