This book states the harsh truth: that despite best intentions, our current environmental practices are doing more harm than good, and that the solution lies in creating supply chains of the future that design, produce, consume, and reuse materials in a manner that is balanced economically and environmentally.
One billion beverage containers are used on a daily basis in the United States, with at least 600 million of them ending up in landfills. Even the 400 million that are recycled—at a great cost—are not accomplishing the task of helping the environment. This economic and environmental catastrophe cannot be solved by recycling programs. From his experience as a leader in the American consumer beverage industry and a researcher in Sweden, author Jack Buffington has developed a transformational solution that seeks to not just mitigate the environmental damage but jumpstart the economy while actually achieving zero waste.
The Recycling Myth tells the story of how our current environmental practices are unintentionally doing more harm than good and how we need to create a radically different supply chain of the future that must, as best as possible, copy the natural system of growth, decay, and regrowth, and discontinue a disastrous pattern of material design and use. Backed by irrefutable evidence, the book destroys our comfortable notions of the recycling status quo; explains why recycling will never work in the United States, despite decades of attempts; and introduces a new system that will actually work—without asking consumers to consume less.