Wednesday, May 19, 2021


 Strangely enough, there are similar economics in play with single-use plastics and spent nuclear fuel. The phenomenon may play in other areas as well. It seems that it is more economical to produce your material from virgin feedstocks than recycled feedstocks. The question for my economics friends is how do you craft policy that makes a recycling loop competitive with the virgin process. It comes to mind that a clumsy but potentially unintended-consequence-laden approach would be to increase the cost of the virgin stock by measures like taxation or ingredient mandates. Unfavorable consequences would include incentives to dodge the taxes in the case of taxation. And mandates have the potential to become political shuttlecocks that are enforced or ignored depending on the desires of whatever faction is in power. Is there some sort of organic, elegant solution to this kind of problem?