As I was hauling out the garbage recently, an empty half gallon milk carton fell out of the sack and landed on the driveway. I stooped down to pick it up and as I did so the thought occurred to me that something that is manufactured, used once and then goes to the landfill is a pretty dumb way to do things. That’s when it came to me that maybe there is a better way that manufactures could work! So here is my thought.
Why not sponsor a competition all across America to come up with food containers that can see a second life and or which can be reintroduced to nature in a non polluting manner. Let me take two cases in point; the ubiquitous milk carton and the 2 liter soda bottle. Both items are purchased by millions of people each day. They use them and then, outside those who practice reclamation, throw them into the trash.
One company has, in fact, redesigned a new and better milk container which companies like Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart and Costco will be stocking in the future. In addition to be recyclable, the design of the carton eliminates the need to ship them in crates which have to be washing before putting being put back in service. They are stacked and then banded with plastic strips that can also be recycled. This eliminates the crate and all that water from the manufacturing and distribution stream.
When it comes to soda bottles, all that is needed for now is to make sure they get recycled. The plastic used to make them is polyethylene terephthalate which can be recycled to help make polar fleece, a material used in casual jackets, sweaters, gym clothes and the like. But, it would be great if some genius out there could come up with a new configuration that would not only be recyclable but which also be useful in some other way after the contents have been consumed.
In my mind, there are a host of products out there that could be ‘re-engineered’ to either have less of an impact on the earth or which could be extended in terms if their usefulness. Something our beleaguered government could get behind and make into a success story.