Light-weighting is the term used to describe using less material in packaging. It saves energy in the making and transporting of products. However, it’s wreaking havoc for the re-manufacturers trying to make new stuff from our collected recyclables.

Ripples Glass, the company that recycles Fayetteville’s glass, explained in their April 25th presentation at The

Chancellor Hotel how the thinner bottles break more easily than the old bottles. If we want our glass recycled it needs to be kept separate from other materials.

Aaron C. Davis wrote in an article in The Washington Post last summer “The lightweight vacuum packs for food and paper-thin bottles are increasingly part of the problem. They are so lightweight that they get blown upward with the paper.” This results in secondary contamination i.e. plastic ends up in the paper bale.

Davis quoted Patty Moore, head of California-based Moore Recycling Associates, which specializes in plastic recycling. “The problem is, to get the same value out of your scrap, you have to shove a whole lot more material through the facility. That was fine when scrap values were high, but when they dropped, we realized it’s expensive to push all of this lightweight stuff through, and we’re in trouble.”

Aubrey Shepherd taped the Ripple presentation and has it posted on his Facebook page.