Why recycling in Los Angeles is so confusing

By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times

“Retailers are already required to do a number of things in their stores, so to add another responsibility will take more time, more labor and it would have some sort of impact on cost,” said Dave Heylen, vice president of communications for the California Grocers Assn. in Sacramento. Heylen suggested the responsibility of labeling recyclable products or packaging might be better placed upstream, by the manufacturer.

Yet “rarely” does end-of-life recyclability come up in discussions with manufacturers, said Rodney Linn, who sells paper, plastic and cardboard packaging for the packaging distributor Morgan Chaney in Phoenix.

“Our clients want to tell people they’re doing their part to save the environment,” Linn said, but that discussion is usually about recycled content on the front end, not the back. They might consider packaging made of recycled material, but they care less about whether that material is recycled again. Decisions are largely dictated by cost. “The end user? Where do they take the package when they’re done with it? That question is not brought up,” Linn said.


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