Is recycling about reducing the demand for resources by reusing products or is it an eco-cult promising that your consumer products can be endlessly reborn, your soda cans and pizza boxes, your castoff clothes and sneakers, will magically come to life (as in countless commercials) in the new products you buy?
One is common sense thrift and the other is a pseudo-religious consumer cult.
Reuters conveniently (and unintentionally) revealed the difference with its “investigative journalism”.
U.S. petrochemicals giant Dow Inc and the Singapore government said they were transforming old sneakers into playgrounds and running tracks. Reuters put that promise to the test by planting hidden trackers inside 11 pairs of donated shoes. Most got exported instead.
At a rundown market on the Indonesian island of Batam, a small location tracker was beeping from the back of a crumbling second-hand shoe store. A Reuters reporter followed the high-pitched ping to a mound of old sneakers and began digging through the pile.
There they were: a pair of blue Nike running shoes with a tracking device hidden in one of the soles.
These familiar shoes had traveled by land, then sea and crossed an international border to end up in this heap. They weren’t supposed to be here.
Frankly, who cares?
Is it somehow more environmentally friendly to conduct the toxic process of trying to recycle products than to sell them so some kid in the third world can have that Nike swoosh?
This is where the rubber meets the road. Or the cult.
It’s ecologically better to have someone wear old shoes than to try to recycle the old shoes. There’s zero scientific debate to be had on the subject. The issue is the cultish fad of sustainability. As if products can be infinitely recycled. When mostly they can’t even be recycled once and don’t need to be. The infinite recycling loop is a dumb myth that is unworkable.
What Reuters does expose is the dirty secret of recycling which is that it’s mostly imaginary. That’s as true of sneakers as it is of everything else. Most recycling ends up in landfills. When it doesn’t, it’s exported to the third world where it ends up in piles of garbage that the locals scrounge anything usable from, and dump the rest.
For the planet.
Recycling is a scam. It’s always been a scam. It means rich westerners sending our garbage to the Third World.
And Reuters get indignant because, upon seeing a pair of Nikes that can probably fetch a hefty sum, the locals didn’t dutifully try to turn them into running tracks, but resold them to others. I doubt this is Dow’s fault, though lefty media loves to blame companies that make “polluting” products. There’s no way you’re going to ship Nikes to the third world and not have them end up in a flea market or on the feet of somebody’s cousin.
It’s not happening because of that thing that Left hates so much for stifling all its grandiose visions: human nature.