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Pitch

Governments should charge supermarkets all plastic they sell with the products, Public Administration would maintain the duty of control.


Description

Summary

The measures implemented by the current recycling model, which are focused on producer responsibility and final consumer awareness, are not enough to prevent the continued accumulation of plastic waste in the oceans. Proof of this, the Mediterranean Sea currently experiencing high levels of plastic pollution even if its coastline meets highly advanced countries on this subject.

“Barcode v/s Plastic Waste” continues forward in the argument, including and controlling a crucial and forgotten player in the current model of consumption: retail or supermarkets.

Consumers must continue recycling, but reality shows clear that the potential to decrease plastic waste could not lay on upon only consumer awareness.

A high percentage of plastic waste passes through supermarkets and, subsequently, the entire distribution channel. While supermarkets do hold responsibility for ENCOURAGING THE USE of plastic and packaging, they also have the potential, although never considered before, to encourage and provide incentives to producers and consumers to reduce their plastic quantities or eliminate it all together.


What actions do you propose?

“Barcode v/s Plastic Waste”, Governments should request supermarkets to be responsible for all plastic recollection associated with products they sell, while Public Administration would maintain the duty of control.

The barcode which identifies any item sold, offers the possibility to track all plastics, containers or packaging by simply adding these information into the barcode.

Having the package information (weight and material composition i.e. PET2/45gr. – PET5/75gr. – etc.) inside the same barcode already used on any item sold will offer an extremely easy way to obtain the necessary data to apply follow-up control over its recollection.

We would be able to track the recyclable materials per gram through the entire transaction system in real-time, allowing us to review any cash register day by day.

For example, at the end of the day of a given supermarket, we will know that from cash #1 got out: 800gr/PET1, 700gr/PET2, 550gr/PET3 and so on.

It is important to highlight, the requested plastic re-collection criterion will be, in general, weight and material and won’t refer to “that” specific packaging, bottle or jar sold by the specified supermarket.

Along with the necessary law, just a new software and a new logistic inside supermarkets will be enough to produce the change.

We would transform millions of negative actions into positive, preventing the loss of tons of raw material with a final reduction of petrol demand.

This new recycling process could reach the full capacity in three years, requesting 30% of plastic recollection quantity the first year, 60% the second 90-100% the third.

Supermarket cash registers are the last control in the commercial process.

After that, only individual awareness and the environment are remaining.

“Barcode v/s Plastic Waste” offers an efficient, win-win-win model: a sustainable and dynamic circle, a cradle to cradle controlled process for this uncontrolled and currently destructive material.

With “Barcode v/s Plastic Waste” we would be able to have Zero Waste Supermarkets worldwide.


Who will take these actions?

Governments should request supermarkets to be responsible for all plastic recollection associated with products they sell, while Public Administration would maintain the duty of control.

Governments should make a law and retails (private companies) have to submit themselves to it.


Where will these actions be taken?

All and any one of the countries on Planet should promulgate a law like this.


How will these actions have a high impact in addressing climate change?

Following Recycling Rates Around the World September 2, 2015: http://www.planetaid.org/blog/recycling-rates-around-the-world Austria has the highest recycling (in general) rate: 63% but the page mention only 13 countries and Japan shows the law percentage, only 21%

With barcode control, private companies have to change their policies.

We'd be able to track the recyclable materials through the entire transaction system in real-time allowing us to review any cash register by days, weeks, months, or years. This information would be provided just as the cash register’s account balance appears at the end of the day.

Indeed, supermarket cash registers are the last control in the commercial process. 

For this reason, while paying at the cash register, consumers would be asked to return the packaging.
Reducing the volumes of recollection the entire cleanser and disinfectant industry could be transformed, where product dispensers are installed, offering clients easy access with their own containers.


What are other key benefits?

Less plastic
Less litter
Less drilling

There is also another point nobody has never considerate: how much plastic litter impacts on climate change.
If zooplankton in the oceans is responsible on CO2 interchange, how much Halobates sericeus, or sea skaters, and their colonizing presence in the Pacific Garbage Patch, is influencing on acidification? Or the less capacity of the Oceans to absorb CO2? 

According to Miriam Goldstein (University of California San Diego), these insects represent a food supply for animals higher up in the food chain, and even the bottom level food web of zooplankton and fish eggs is being damaged as a result of increased insect nesting.

Indeed, insect proliferation is possible since eggs are laid around any piece of plastic above 5 millimeters - a perfect nest for their eggs – leading to an unmeasured increase in insect numbers.


What are the proposal’s costs?

100% of costs should be charged to retails, supermarkets and distribution channels


Time line

This new recycling process could reach the full capacity in three years, requesting 30% of plastic recollection quantity the first year, 60% the second 90-100% the third.


Related proposals


References