Is recycling plastic, all things considered, efficient as compared to disposing of them and making new plastic?
I'm looking in efficiency rates in free market environment and also full process of production and disposal. No moral agenda, no subsidies, simply, is it worth to recycle plastic.
It is not easy task to find all the costs involved and it surely depends on place and politics so I understand some assumptions have to be set. I understand that keeping our backyard clean is also important so when disposal is considered it should be done in proper manner. No enforcement should be speculated (such as enforced sorting by the public), although voluntary action may be considered (motivated public).
The costs of production option of plastic should involve: production (costs), introducing to the market (gain), disposal (costs)
The costs of recycling option of plastic should involve: collecting (costs), processing (costs), reintroducing to the market (gain)
Anyone help is appreciated. It's not any project, just curiosity of my own. If anyone can at least point me to good resources and outline how to calculate everything objectively, I would much appreciate that.
One document that deals with the topic is here: http://cdn.intechopen.com/pdfs-wm/37109.pdf
Although it doesn't give clear answer (hard numbers).
Update: What I seek here mostly is proper methodology of objective economic calculation of this very matter. 1. What are the partial processes to consider - the major contributor of costs/profits. 2. How to determine the costs/profits of each part. 3. Where to find objective data or how to get it.
I should have probably attempted to try something on my own, and I intend to. But once I start thinking about it I find that I either don't have objective output or that the calculation would require too much detail. Example: landfill cost according to the EU document in comment, p.64 ( http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/studies/pdf/eucostwaste.pdf ) the prices range from 6 EUR/ton in Poland to 164 EUR/ton in Netherlands. Now, is the difference due to higher labor costs or due to taxes and directives?