I've believed that for a while.
In the end, so much human activity is guided by cost benefit, with cost the dominant partner. Altruism generally takes a back seat to economics.
So we won't recycle until materials become so rare (which means, mined into extinction) and their cost so high that recycling them makes financial sense.
The environment takes a back seat in this equation. We don't respond until there's a crisis. It's in our DNA, as far as I can figure. Humans are built this way.
For me, it explains our approach to climate change. Until the economics make sense there will be no sense of urgency, no matter how obvious the impending scenario is. We have difficulty planning for anything beyond immediate, urgent stimuli.
Sorry for the hijack, oh men and women of batterycon.