Is Plastic a Public Menace?

This week’s Convenience Matters podcast takes a closer look at the current trend to ban plastic packaging, straws, cups and bags.

April 30, 2019

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – On this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “Addressing the Anti-Plastics Movement,” NACS hosts Jeff Lenard, vice president of strategic industry initiatives, and Carolyn Schnare, director of strategic industry initiatives, talk about the importance of plastic for food safety and convenience with Kara Pochiro, vice president of communications and public affairs at the Association of Plastic Recyclers.

“We like to say that it’s not single-serve [plastic] if it’s recycled,” Pochiro said. “We’ve seen lots of things in the media saying that recycling doesn’t work, and that all these communities are completely stopping collection. But in our industry, we know well that plastic recycling does work—it’s important to protect the environment and … it’s something that’s really necessary in your industry and at home too.”

Pochiro emphasized that “consumers should really listen to what their communities are telling them to put in their recycling cart. This is often an issue because different communities take different types of products and different types of packaging. Don’t throw everything in because it’s plastic.”

If retailers purchase shelving, etc., that’s made from recycled materials and if consumers would also pay attention to buying items made from recycled materials, that will help with demand. “It’s an industry … that needs market and demand,” she explained.

NACS and the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) recently published “The Value of Can and Bottle Recycling,” which offers tips and suggestions for improving current practices, how to effectively communicate the goals of the program with staff and customers and a checklist to help retailers reduce contamination in their recycling bins.

Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. The podcast can be downloaded on iTunes, Google Play and other podcast apps, and at Episodes have been downloaded by listeners more than 60,000 times in 80 countries.