You see, in 2018 China imposed severe limitations on the amount and types of materials it would accept for recycling. That gave Jess Tossit and his cronies just the excuse they were looking for to not bother recycling materials. Much of the material that used to be sold was ending up in landfills. “What’s the use of separating recyclables?” Jess would argue. “It’s all gonna get dumped together in the same hole anyway. But what are you grinning about now?” Jess sneered.
Instead of slinking away like he had the past few years, Ray smiled and said, “Jess my man! Let me buy you a beer.” Jess couldn’t believe it, but he wasn’t about to turn down a free brew. So down to the N-Lite-Inn tap they went.
“Let me tell you pal,” Ray began, “times have changed. I’ll fill you in.” Then Ray launched into an explanation of how the value of recyclable materials has soared in the past year. Due to the economic recovery and the growth of e-commerce the value of recycled materials are the highest they’ve been in years. For example, milk jug plastic goes for a record high of $2,000 / ton, more than aluminum cans fetch. And corrugated cardboard sells for $185 / ton, the highest price in two decades. “Folks can actually help unclog the supply chain by contributing to recyclable commodities; they’re a key link in the supply chain,” Ray concluded.
Then from one bar stool over, “I couldn’t help overhearing,” Les Stuph interrupted. “You’re right about recyclable materials. But we shouldn’t take that as free license to buy lots of plastic stuff figuring it will all somehow get recycled. Far from it! The world still produces 100 million tons of NON-recyclable plastics every year!”
When Jess left the bar he noticed a discarded pop can. Scooping it up, he deposited it in a recycle container. “You know, we really can’t afford to waste any of our resources,” he thought to himself, “because this is the only home we’ll ever know. It’s where we’re all forever… Earthbound.”