Should plastic bags be recycled or banned?

California has become an interesting test-case for both approaches to one plastic problem.

Back in 2006, California passed a law that mandated a system for recycling plastic shopping bags. Today, supermarkets and other large stores have receptacles where plastic bags can be returned for recycling.

However, a recent report from the Associated Press found that it’s difficult to measure how successful this program has been. They found that the data collected by the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery has not been analyzed since 2009, when about 3 percent of bags made it to recycling. The department did provide reporters with the raw data: Read more

43% Of Beverage Cartons Recycled In Europe In 2014

Some 420.000 tonnes of beverage cartons were recycled in paper mills in 2014, according to industry-wide figures, released by the The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE).

The figure represents a recycling rate of 43% in Europe (EU-28, Norway and Switzerland) and is evidence of the continuing upward trend in recycling performance over the last two decades, according to ACE.

The total recovery rate (recycling and energy recovery) in 2014 reached 76%.

“Beverage carton recycling continued its long term growth trend also in 2014”, Bertil Heerink, director general of ACE, said. Read more