One has to also remember that products from the resource recovery industry need to be competitively priced and quality to be used as a replacement for virgin materials.
As a community, we could move towards compulsory recycling content in products, but this could affect end product prices and potentially product quality.
We could also move towards standardised packaging/containers, something I have raised with the packaging industry with a cold response. Packaging is seen as allowing two similar products to differentiate themselves, for example, changing packing shape to better target a particular consumer sector (e.g making beer containers more masculine to make them more attractive to males).
Standard containers (like the tallie beer bottles) would allow reuse which is better than recycling....but, it is also difficult to implement where international open markets exist and it would be difficult to regulate imported products.
The government could subsidise price of resource recovered materials, but this skews the market and cost may be far greater and and perceived benefits.
It would be better to recycle than not to recycle as the more generated should place downward pressure on prices and make it more attractive to use. It use will replace virgin materials which would otherwise have not been needed due to increase demand for the product. It is also essential that only high quality materials are recycled as this maximises the quality of the final products using the recycled materials. Higher quality means higher value for recycling.
Ensuring that only high quality materials are recycled are our responsibility and how we can contribute to and ensure opportunities for recycling are maximised. We can all ensure that only materials which should be placed in recycling receptables. Not doing so diminishes the quality of the recycled materials impacting Iimits value (price) for recycling.
We also need to be more accepting of recycled products.