Published In

Resources, Conservation and Recycling

Document Type


Publication Date



Plastic scrap -- Management, Waste minimization -- Sustainability


How can plastic material be reduced, reused, repurposed, or salvaged so it is kept out of rivers, oceans and ecosystems in general? Social awareness about the impacts of plastic pollution is growing, and creative, social solutions to the ‘plastic menace’ are popping up globally. Every day, one can read about the latest, innovative method for managing plastic waste at the local level: plastic PET bottles stuffed with plastic-film food wrappers to make ‘ecobricks;’ paving roads with plastic waste; making yoga-wear out of marine plastic pollution; weaving plastic into tote bags; using a 3D printer to make plastic into products for a community social enterprise; turning plastic bottles into rafts, or flip-flops into colorful sculptures; the list goes on and on. Solutions such as these for plastic waste receive much attention and applause. However, are these actual solutions, or more partial-fixes for managing the ever-increasing onslaught of plastic waste?


This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Resources, Conservation and Recycling. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Resources, Conservation and Recycling. Final Version:



Persistent Identifier