When I was a kid, in the early seventies, a lot of people were nay-saying the future of industrialism, and advocating a new concept- recycling. The idea was that you could do several good things at once:
- You could reduce the embarrassing amount of material being piled up and buried in garbage dumps (now aka landfills)
- You could lower our dependence on raw materials for metals, plastics, and paper, and, most attractively...
- YOU COULD SAVE MONEY. It's cheaper to remelt steel than to produce it anew, so recycled steel would be a lower-cost commodity than 'new' steel. Likewise with paper- mashing up old newspapers is cheaper than cutting down trees,so recycled products, in addition to being morally satisfying, are cheaper.
Well, not these days, kids. Now that recycling is a mainstream, politically-correct policy, cultural demand is driving the prices of recycled materials skyward. At the corporate grocery-store right down the street, recycled-paper products are displayed on their own end-caps, like premium brands. And they cost about half again what the premium brands cost. They have nice names like 'one planet' or some shit, I don't know, and they rob us fucking blind, charging more for a product that is cheaper to produce. Is it that the hippie-activists of yore are now running recycling plants, selling out, and cashing in? Or are we so stupid that we just buy whatever's cool today? I think it's the latter. It's infuriating and embarrassing at the same time. BOYCOTT RECYCLED PRODUCTS! My personal recycling note- even though my city has a recycling program, I rinse my beer bottles and bag 'em up neatly next to the trash in the alley. Homeless people pick them up, and turn them in, two-for-a-nickel. Everybody's happy, and a good weekend at my place can feed a homeless guy for several days.