All glass soda bottle were recycled for well over half a century - they cost 5 ->10¢ each at the time of purchase, and that was refunded with their return to the vendor ...... Why was this behavior abandoned? Convenience, or lack of success, or other reasons?
We have, in my community, a local, would be plastic recycling facility, that expects to receive only clean, empty bottles - not plastic bottles or cans filled with grease, dirt, waste, dried paint, residual detergent etc. They estimate that it costs them about $10 per pound to eliminate one pound of plastic from the landfill, by recycling this clean dry plastic waste.....
I have significant doubt that a cost of $10 per pound, for each pound rediverted from the landfill, will prove to be cost effective - UNLESS - there is a token return fee for the bottle, at the time of purchase, just like there used to be for the glass soda bottles I collected for the return fees when I was a kid.
Discarded plastic bottles are frequently pretty scuzzy, precisely because they have been discarded, not returned; - either from wallowing around in ditch water, somewhere, after being discarded, or repurposed as a paint container, or a grease container, or a dirt container, or a urine container, or other purposes.
But then I don't discard empty plastic bottles in my yard either, but apparently I do have a neighbor, or at least a passer by, who pitches them into my yard from their car window, on their way by, from time to time.
I am not terribly optimistic that all humans are that caring about their environment, from my limited life experience. Just watch the evening news.
We have, everyone in America, done so well with mask wearing in this pandemic, I am certain we can get everyone to enthusiastically wash and clean their plastic bottles for return/recycling, without the necessity of a return fee. Well, maybe not……
I am not suggesting that recycling and avoiding plastic waste are not laudable goals that I do fully support. Just like I don't throw trash into my own or my neighbor's yard.
But I do have doubts that a large number of folks are so conscientious. A return fee did seem to help folks make more effort to return bottles 50 years ago.
But just maybe, a return fee for the battery of an EV makes a whole lot of sense. Ya think?