In Taiwan, 95% of used plastic bottles are recycled every year. Those bottles are turned into sportswear, zippers, building materials and so on. But how about the bottle caps and bottle labels?
Unfortunately, most of them are treated as plastic wastes. Last year, I took part in an annual beach clean-up activity and I was so surprised that there were substantial quantities of colorful discarded end-of-life plastic debris everywhere. I am so curious about this phenomenon. Do people only recycle the bottle but litter bottle caps on the ground?
Most of us thought that if we put the bottle with its cap in the recycle bin, they will be 100% recycled. However, the truth is that a great majority of bottle caps are being disposed off even they are in the recycling process. So we keep consuming those products without awaring of adverse impacts to our environment. It is just like a kind of information asymmetry. Who should take responsibility for the results?
Do the bottle manufacturers have the responsibility of disclosing the toxic wastes generated in the producing process and its impacts to our environment?
Do the food or drinks manufacturers have the responsibility of building the recycling system to reduce the plastic wastes?
Do the consumers have the responsibility of reducing the use of plastic?
Do the recycling company have the responsibility of revealing what actions they take to reuse the recycled items and its impacts to our environment?
Do the government have the responsibility of supervising the whole recycling process?
Before we find out an alternative and environmental friendly material, why don't we produce bottle caps, bottle caps liner and bottle labels in the same material as bottle itself to make sure that everything is being 100% recycled?