Why are companies allowed to manufacture products using plastic, are there laws to regulate or stop this?

My family and I recycle. There is a recycle center close by at the local grocery. We save trips by taking our recycled items to drop off when we go do our shopping. My kids help and understand we are doing our little part to help the earth. My question is why isn't there laws made to regulate or stop the use of plastics that companies put liquid products in, such as drinks, food, etc....? The companies save $$$ for the cheapest packing they can use. I learned that if I drink tap water for the rest of your life it will cost 1$ or less. Now I refuse to buy drinks in plastic bottles, they are everywhere filling up trash cans, along the roads. At least aluminum cans can be recycled and you can get paid for it. Why do only some states have retunable glass incentives but others don't? EX...some glass jars will say "10cent refund in MI" Do you return these to the grocery stores like we use to when pop was in 8pk. glass bottles?

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    There was an interesting post in TreeHugger a couple months ago about the energy that goes into producing plastic vs. other materials and how many times you need to use something like a ceramic mug to actually make less of an impact then using the disposable cup.


    The point is, plastic is not necessarily as evil as you are making it out to be. As long as it is recyclable, and is recycled, I think it is a good thing. It is definitely on the consumer to use less and recycle and re-use what we can but banning plastic isn't the answer.

    A lot of companies are also looking for ways to reduce the amount of plastic they use, and that should be supported. For example, Pepsi just announced that they are now making their bottles with 20% less plastic. Great step! As technology improves, I bet they can keep going with that.

    To make a difference, I just try to support companies that make efforts to reduce their impact. Like what Indra Nooyi (CEO of Pepsi) is doing with her Performance with Purpose vision. http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/time100/art...

  • 1 decade ago

    There are so many ways to answer your question, but none are real solutions. Many states are coming around to the recycling mode, but only because of outside pressure and the fact that resources are costing more for the precious little that we have left. The real answer is people like you and I, who just flat decide not buy products that we know are wasteful and harmful to the environment. If there were more people willing to hit these companies in their wallets, companies would find ways to do things differently. To many people talk the talk, but only make half-hearted(if they actually do anything more than talk) effort to do the right thing. As consumers who buy these products, we are also to blame. Large companies(and even small ones)are all about profit, at most any expense. Everyone likes to make money and be profitable but until companies and consumers alike take responsibility for the things that are made so that we can buy them and then toss them into a landfill its never going to change( Yes I know that was a run on sentence- Kind of like the circle we are stuck in!!) Like I said not much of an answer, but at least you know there are others who feel the same!

  • 1 decade ago

    Using plastic instead of glass or metal is far better for the environment. It takes a lot of energy to produce a glass bottle (try melting some beach sand) and the weight of the glass means more fuel is used to transport it to market. Aluminum cans also take a lot of energy to produce but this is partly offset by the reduced weight and ease of recycling. Plastics can be recycled and can also be burned in incinerators that produce electricity.

    Overall, in terms of environmental impact glass is the worst material to use, metal is better and plastic is best.

  • 1 decade ago

    The people above have given some excellent answers and solutions. My husband drinks an amazing amount of soda, and is always throwing the bottles away. I prefer to rescue them and recycle them back into the household, because there's not an easy way to recycle them in my area. So I rinse them out and use them for anything; cut them in half and use the tops for car fluid funnels and the bottoms for starter plant pots or pencil holders, watering bottles for the plants, put water back in them (refrigerated tap water), use them for chilling water while I'm out (put a small amount of water in the bottom, freeze the bottle, and put tap water over it when you're ready to go), mix the Crystal Light type drinks in them, cat toys, kid toys, herb gardens (carefully fill a 20oz or approx about half with dirt, water, drop herb seeds, push down and cover with pencil; screwing down the cap most of the way gives a great environment for germination), keep small bits and pieces (from nails to screws to push pins, bobby pins)... in fact, there's not much that they can't be used for. :-)

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  • 1 decade ago

    You're definitely on the right track with your thinking as this is a huge waste, but unfortunately the bottled soda industry is way to big of a monster in this country and in my opinion is way to late to stop as it is a multi billion dollar industry and the plastic companies will do whatever it takes to keep this end of their companies strong. But there are regulations on making plastics, most of which I'm not familiar with but keep in mind that plastics make up more than fifty percent of the planets material things, including the keys that you just typed that question with. So it's definitely important to keep a good balance there, and I guess that will be left up to the companies and the Gov't.

  • 1 decade ago

    You can worry yourself into an early grave trying to control the manufacturing processes of major industries. Political action against the materials is probably they only way to attack them.

    I am powerless over those hugh corps. so I just let it go and use the refuse scattered about by careless humans for my weight loss training each time I bend over and pick up a plastic bottle and put it in my recycle bin I work on my weight without working on my blood pressure or my worry wort. A worry wort is something I am powerless over that eats my lunch.

  • andy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Actually, plastic is also recyclable and my girlfriend and I do recycle. I am not sure why you are against plastic which is reusable. As a matter of fact, they usually reuse the scrap plastic when making bottles and other types of plastic items.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It very nice to see that some good people like you do think this way and want others opeanion on this topic.

    This is a global world where money is every thing for man & hence the human is distroying the nature without thinking about the result. There is a well said statement that laws are ment to be broken & these compinies are following the same path. Money can buy every thing & they are proving it.

    I study in a high school and with my friends I do promote topics like. We make people aware af the hazards of platics & other harmful things.

    I would like you to advice the same with your family you should also involve some more people with you like your friends, your neighbours etc..

  • 4 years ago

    I did not know about this 4%surtax, but if true, there is no question that it will cause job loss. The manufacuturing sector is allready at a disadvantage and raising taxes will not help. I think that once jobs leave, then the complaint will be "It is because of Bush Administration policies."

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think the politicians just want to please the manufacturers that produced plenty of plastic bottles for convenience and economic reason. Most importantly, the manufacturers have created many steady jobs for the workers. The Canadian government decided to ban the polycarbonate plastic baby bottles for health and protection infants' growth process. I think your idea and proposal is good for our polluted environment. Hong Kong has two fossil power generating stations which harmed our health and produced hell lot of sulphide and carbon dioxide. However, our fascist Hong Kong government neglecting the series complaints from the educators, Green Peace and many concerned citizens. They want to maintain the status quo of rich and powerful peoples to control Hong Kong. The following website has provided the detailed issues regarding the reasons of why or why not ban the plastic bottles.


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