Monday, July 20, 2009
This opinion is interesting because if environmental activists have their way, we are facing an end of disposable items. We live in a culture of disposables from packaging through products. It would take a huge shift in manufacturing and retailing to build goods that can be recycled and actually are. The PR challenge of persuading industry and the public to think of recycling in everything they buy is large and lengthy. It will take decades to reach a society in which most, if not all, used goods are put back into the manufacturing stream. Retailers like Ikea may have to change their business model or be penalized for failing to do so. Manufacturers may have to change materials they use in products. Municipalities will have to recycle more than they do. In other words, the message has to reach every level of the logistics chain and be effective. That is a huge task that will cause economic dislocation for every participant and a need for persuasive messaging.