Plastics Recycling at Loyola
- Specially labeled garbage cans will be located at the main entryways to all buildings.
- Although we do recycle plastic on campus, a better plan is to encourage the use of sustainable beverage containers instead.
- It is cheaper for bottling companies to make new bottles than it is to recycle them.
- The cost to ship plastic for recycling is very high. It is a light material that takes up a large volume and the cost of gasoline for transport is more than the value of the material.
- Major bottling companies are not incorporating post consumer, recycled plastic into new bottles at the rate that they have promised; they should be responsible for the products that they are making in such vast numbers.
- Because there is no real market for plastic, the value of plastic is only 3-7 cents a pound while aluminum's value can be 25-80 cents a pound.
- Only 5-10% of all plastic produced is actually recycled with 90-95% of it ending up in landfills, or as litter on land, waterways or in the oceans.
- The oceans are becoming literal garbage dumps as currents concentrate the floating plastic.
- It is not biodegradable and entangles or is eaten by wildlife, causing digestive blockages and starvation.
- In view of this, some college campuses and communities have banned plastic bottles altogether.
Other options for Loyola are:
- Reduce overall plastic use by pre-cycling (buying items with the lowest environmental impact)
- Return to aluminum can vending machines
- Install water vending machines that dispense water into reusable bottles or mugs
- Use individual Pur or Brita filtration pitchers with reusable bottles or mugs
The graph below concerns PETE plastic – soft drink and water bottles.