Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
Oregon’s reverse vending machines. Jes Burns/Oregon Public Broadcasting
NPR reported that Oregon’s bottle deposit system is recycling more containers than ever before despite major disruptions in global recycling markets. Last year, Oregon recycled 90 percent of the beverage containers covered by its bottle deposit system. The rate has jumped from 64 percent just two years ago, and the total number of bottles recycled reached an all-time high of 2 billion in 2018. The drop off program accepts only glass, plastic, and aluminum thus the bottles it collects aren’t contaminated like many ones in curbside pickups are and this makes it easier to sell and recycle domestically.
Good News Network explained that the program incentivizes state residents to recycle by offering them 10 cents for every container that is dropped off at their BottleDrop locations.Additionally, the cooperative has teamed up with Oregon breweries to create reusable bottles that are thicker and more durable than normal glass bottles. This way, the BottleDrop processing system can easily detect and separate the bottles so that they can be given back to the breweries for reuse. The cooperative says that the program’s success is largely thanks to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission upping the bottle redemption rate from 5 cents to 10 cents when recycling rates failed to reach state goals in April 2017. As a result of that extra nickel, the recycling redemption rate skyrocketed from 59% to 82% for the remainder of the year.
Why This Matters: After China banned most of the import of our recyclable waste, many trash haulers have had to send the recyclables they’ve collected to the landfill. Programs like Oregon’s help ensure the purity of recycled bottles and can spur a culture of using refillable products but they’re limited in the types of items they collect (for instance they don’t accept paper products). We wrote last week that while Pepsi and Coke announced that they will more seriously address plastic waste, neither they nor the manufacturers of all that plastic have made a commitment to stop making new plastic. We have to ensure that companies who sell disposable bottles and packaged products pay their fair share for recycling infrastructure and seriously commit to sustainable packaging.
This past July, all eyes were on Tokyo when over 10,000 Olympians from 206 nations descended on the city to make history. Despite a decrease in carbon emissions due to COVID-19 and fewer traveling spectators, the games still produced 2.3 million tons of CO2. In 2021, The International Olympic Committee (IOC) pledged to reduce […]
Startups across the country are on a mission to provide sustainable food packaging options and close the plastic loop, especially prompted by the pandemic take-out boom. Over 70% of Americans order delivery one to three times a week, creating hundreds of billions of single-use bowls, bags, utensils, and more. But some innovative companies have […]
Five winners have been awarded £1 million each by Prince William’s Earthshot Prize in recognition for their sustainability and conservation efforts. The winners across five categories are: coral-growing and reef-restoring enterprise Coral Vita; the Republic of Costa Rica for its programs in forest restoration; the company Takachar whose technology can turn agricultural waste into sellable […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.