Technology has been developed to coextrude multilayer (5, 7, or more) materials of which many are barrier and packaging films. Unfortunately, these packaging materials cannot usually be recycled because of the mixture of polymers used. The extruders also are designed to have a huge capacity for producing many millions of square meters of coextruded multilayer film at a competitive cost. This translates into a large inertia from the companies that use this technology to continue to produce non-recyclable films.
A groundswell for global betterment
From these disparate bits of information, I notice there are some trends. There is a groundswell that we should not be polluting the oceans and need to take action. There is a recognition that there are too many starving people, and that if we cared enough about the food we grow and how we can best get it to these starving people, this would be good for the world. There is an increasing drive to reduce waste and to improve reuse or recycling.
Where we make it difficult for ourselves is that it seems every country is doing something different to address these issues. Certainly within the UK, every town appears to be doing something different and, where there needs to be a logical sequence of actions, there are gaps or mismatches. This scattershot approach takes longer and generates more frustration and disappointment as initiatives that look good on paper, simply fail. Do not get me wrong; I support these initiatives as they help to change the culture, which takes time. They also hopefully are helping increase the number of people who will not just throw litter out of their car window but will instead take it home and put it into the correct recycling bin – assuming they know it’s acceptable and which bin to use.