Mickey Mouse doesn’t recycle | SummitDaily.com

Mickey Mouse doesn’t recycle

In a marketing move that has recyclers all over the world shaking their heads, Disney has recently announced the launch of its single-use disposable DVDs.

Soon you will be able to go to the video store and buy a DVD that will play once. Only once. After you play it once, and only once, that awfully convenient DVD will become trash, probably with its paper and plastic packaging.

What kind of trash is Disney adding to the waste stream without a care? No one knows. With this announcement of disposable DVDs, there is, as usual, a deafening silence regarding the end of this product’s very short life.

There is no mention of an existing recycling market (or lack thereof) for DVDs. There is no description of the raw materials in disposable DVDs or their packaging. There is no consideration of the implications for future generations, as disposable DVDs mix with the rest of society’s discards in landfills and incinerators. There is apparently no plan for collecting the disposable DVDs for reuse.

Just like the eight-ounce water bottle that barely quenches your thirst before it becomes trash, the disposable DVD is another example of manufacturers creating a convenient but incredibly wasteful product.

And, without any oversight or obligation, manufacturers continue to pour new disposable products into the waste stream that YOU – the consumer, the community member and the taxpayer – have to subsidize now and well into the future.

As with most products, as soon as the disposable DVD leaves the store in your hands, it will be your responsibility until it decomposes or returns to the manufacturing stream.

And, if it doesn’t ever decompose (like the disposable DVD) or it doesn’t ever get returned to the manufacturing stream through recycling (like the disposable DVD) it will be your grandchildren’s responsibility.

It’s surprising coming from Disney, the company that has been entertaining children for decades, because it is exactly those children who will have to bear the burden of cost and pollution from the steady stream of new disposable DVDs.

Disney’s movies have morals, lessons of tolerance and messages of peace and happy endings. But what is the message with the disposable DVD? Is it that when you throw something away, it simply goes away? Or that using something just once is just fine? Regardless of the lessons contained in Disney’s movies, the message of a single-use DVD is wrong. When you throw something away, it does not go away. There is simply no “away,” and to imply so is a lie.

But, as a less famous character from a children’s book once said, “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

These words from Dr. Seuss’ book “The Lorax” ring all too true with Disney’s latest creation, as it was the “Once-lers” who used all of the resources and polluted the land until it was uninhabitable.

Take the message from “The Lorax” – it is up to you as the consumer to make change. Write to Disney’s CEO Michael Eisner at Buena Vista Home Entertainment, 350 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521 and let him know that once is not enough.

Carly Wier is the executive director for Summit Recycling Project.

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