“Food and beverage packaging and containers are among the top 5 most littered items found on beaches and coastlines.”
Some of these packages and containers can be recycled but are not. Others are made of materials that are not widely accepted by recycling facilities. One such product is Capri Sun and similar drink pouches.
“Capri Sun pouches are made by bonding layers of aluminum and plastic together, making them very difficult to recycle. Only 2% are estimated to be collected nationwide for recycling (primarily through TerraCycle, which repurposes hard-to-recycle packages and products into items like tote bags and laptop cases).
Packages like Capri Sun pouches are designed to be used once and then thrown away, requiring a constant input of energy, water, and other natural resources (including non-renewable fossil fuel-derived plastics) to make new packages.
The Natural Resources Defense Council, “(NRDC), joined a coalition of organizations working on waste and recycling, plastic pollution and resource conservation to launch the Make It, Take It Campaign, a collaborative effort to pressure consumer goods companies to take responsibility for packaging waste and to educate and mobilize citizens for sustainable packaging policies.
The campaign is targeting the Capri Sun juice pouch; a highly visible example of consumer packaging that can’t be readily reused, recycled or composted. The campaign estimates that 1.4 billion Capri Sun pouches are landfilled or littered each year in the United States. Stacked end to end, that’s enough pouches to wrap around the Earth almost five times (121,527 miles) – or to reach nearly half-way to the moon.”
Unfortunately, there are no specific mandates that require manufacturers to use recyclable containers or packaging. Until then, education and awareness are key to what products consumers purchase based on the recyclable nature of their packaging and what they do with the package when they’re done with it.
For more information on recyclable items visit www.wasteawaygroup.com.