Adverts in the print media tease conscious consumers with the promise of recycling facilities for Polystyrene or P6. But in reality it is not happening in the Scenic South. I emailed Adri and Aletta of the Polystyrene Packaging Council – see below – and look forward to a favourable and helpful reply.
Dear Adri and Aletta, I phoned yesterday and was given the contact details of polystyrene recyclers / collectors for the South Peninsula. One has not returned my message – so not sure what the situation is there, and the other only collects white polystyrene. The picture below is of the polystyrene content of my shopping collected over a few months. I eventually put it into the refuse bin because I simply don’t have the space to store it any longer in the hope that so-called recyclable polystyrene will be recycled. Actually I kept the strong veggie trays to take back to my local Fruit & Veggie store who said they would re-use them. (Comment: I would rather do without the polystyrene in the first place than have the inconvenience of having to return it. And when the tillpoint is not busy, I do unwrap the produce and leave the polystyrene behind. This does not endear me to the cashiers.)
It is interesting to note how much coloured polystyrene is in my domestic collection – see picture below. What happens to it? If there is no re-use for the coloured polystyrene packing then why is it being produced?
I am a concerned consumer, and my struggle to deal responsibly with the packaging that my shopping comes in is ongoing and frustrating – and I am not alone. I also run the environmental pages on a community website called www.scenicsouth.co.za including a page on recyclers and recyclables. In my community I co-ordinate a curbside recycling collection (as a volunteer) – which while it is on the City of CT Green Map, does not include the collection of polystyrene because our collector can’t get rid of the polystyrene. (Do I sound stuck?)
From my position at the bottom of the packaging food chain, I see very little evidence of support from the polystyrene producers or the polystyrene council and I believe the adverts in `green magazines’ about polystyrene being recyclable are a form of white lie. If consumers can’t effectively recycle polystyrene then it is effectively non-recyclable.
I hope that your response will not mirror the chemistry of polystyrene 5% `plastic’ and 95% hot air. It is time for solutions not talk about solutions. I look forward to your positive and proactive response.
With Regards, Kim Kruyshaar