Dienstag, Januar 31, 2006
The Fallacy of Recycling
In today's Nikkei Weekly - 30 Jan 2006, page 15 - there is an interview with Prof Kunihoko Takeda, of Nagoya University.
He has analyzed plastic recycling in Japan, specfically PET bottles.
And this is the key quote:
"In the case of PET bottles, the energy used to sort, transport and process them amounts to about 1.6 million tons of oil per year. This volume of oil can produce almost three times as many new PET bottles. In other words, it takes three times more oil to recycle PET bottles than to make new ones."
That's right: three times as much oil to recycle PET bottles as to make new ones.
He also makes the right call: if you want to reduce garbage, make products that are more durable and have consumers use them more wisely for as long as possible.
But what a concept that would be.
I wonder what the cost of the German Dual System is in recycling here as well?
Taken at face value, recycling is a good idea: it should lead to optimum utilization of resources.
Instead, it is wasting resources. And the only ones making money are the recycling companies, whose market is mandated for them.
Another example of waste and inefficiency as the result of government interferement in markets...