But glass was sterilized and reused umpteen times. Then somebody got the bright idea to dump the costs on the public and use "disposeable" plastic bottles, which takes years, if ever, to deteriorate. Note that the shift to plastic didn't equal a drop in price.
Same with paper bags - they rotted after a while. They gave jobs to people who logged the scrub pine and the forest was renewable. Now we suck up oil to make these bags, which like the above, never decay. (I still make a point to ask for paper in the stores, especially now that they have handles, which was the only "improvement" I found in plastic.)
The article sounds like a promo for the "use once and throw it away" crowd. That being said, I never could see the sort-your-garbage routine as it was pretty obvious that it was neither environmentally friendly or cost effective and was merely another duck-the-consequences gambit by the corporations.
I don't ever recall 2-liter Cokes being sold in glass bottles, either.
But glass was sterilized and reused umpteen times. Then somebody got the bright idea to dump the costs on the public and use "disposeable" plastic bottles, which takes years, if ever, to deteriorate.
The only reason glass was recycled was because we didn't have the technology to make enough plastic bottles. Now we do, and it's cheaper than hauling all those heavy bottles everywhere. The plastic bottles actually decompose faster than the crude oil they were extracted from.
Even if we run out of fossil petroleum we will still be able to synthesize whatever plastics we need from trees, crops or coal. All it takes is energy -- and we have at least a 4,000 year supply of uranium and thorium.
The most rational way to recycle is to burn trash to reclaim the energy and release the CO2 so that plants can use it.