what i'm not so grateful for is the idea that can come from recycling... the idea that there is nothing wrong with buying packaging that gets recycled anyway. because not all of what goes into the bin is recycled. because new plastic has to be added all the time to old plastic in order to make new bottles and bags, etc. because lots of energy goes into cleaning, breaking down and remolding plastic and glass. because plastic hits a point (quickly) where it can't be recycled any more.
i wrote last week about my zero-waste check in and listed the products i still buy in packaging along with their recycling status. i want to make it clear that i don't count that as "good waste". it is still waste.
and then... i have this struggle even with the idea of terracylce. it is undoubtedly a good thing... to recycle hard to recycle things. but every kid is not walking around with a backpack made out of lunchables lids. i mean honestly this just makes me laugh. first, these are not cute (in my opinion)... second, that's only one week's worth of lunchables (so each kid would need like 30 of these bags to account for one year's worth of lunches)... and third, what does that become when it breaks or is discarded? there is plastic webbing added to each pile of garbage for crying out loud!
some of the plastic gets cleaned and made into little pellets that are then made into recycled plastic park benches and picnic tables. but these are still enormous hunks of plastic that will someday be discarded... and never decompose (i think compostable wood park benches and picnic tables are the better option!).
recycling is not zero-waste.