A funny thought hit me the other day while I was standing in my office. I was scanning something on one of the printers and it occurred to me that everything was made out of plastic and I said to myself “how many miles could I have done with my car if all of this plastic was used to make fuel instead of parts. “

In our quest to make things cheaper, we have seemingly lost sight of the proper uses of our resources. We are squandering our valuable resources on what I like to call “our throwaway society”

Instead of using materials that are recyclable without too much difficulty, we waste our valuable and non-renewable resources. Instead of planning our products for an economical and sensical recycling afterlife we look for the easiest way out. The low cost of producing cabinets and other parts out of plastic instead of metal is beneficial to the manufacturer but the cost is actually shifted into the consumer with hidden taxes that are used to subsidize the government mandated recycling of these items because these materials are so complicated and expensive to recover and in the end they have virtually no value. 

As consumers we don’t think about this but as a recycler this is something that I think about all of the time. Why not make these cabinets out of steel or aluminum? These products are easy to recover and require very little conversion to be reused. We are so busy trying to make things cheaply that we don’t think about what happens to them after we dispose of them. Ultra thin copper wires with little metallic content, low content of recyclable materials and a short life span. 

Packaging materials are also a major waste of these resources. We have all of these fancy material recovery facilities that are sorting our garbage and in fact only a fraction of these recovered materials are reusable. What ever happened to glass bottles?

I shudder to think where we will be as a species when we have used up all of our natural resources. Piles of plastic waste everywhere and our vehicles parked on the side of the roads because there is no more oil to run them. 

Just my two cents. 

Jeff Solomon
Globe Metal Inc.
www.globemetal.com