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From 2000 to 2010, beverage containers accounted for a steadily decrea

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From 2000 to 2010, beverage containers accounted for a steadily decreasing percentage of the total weight of domestic garbage in Brazil. The increasingly widespread practice of recycling aluminum and plastic was responsible for most of this decline. However, although aluminum recycling was more widely practiced in this period than plastic recycling, the total weight of plastic bottles in Brazil’s domestic garbage declined by a greater percentage during this time than the total weight of aluminum cans in Brazil’s domestic garbage.

Which of the following, if true in Brazil from 2000 to 2010, most helps to account for the apparent discrepancy?

(A) Consumers increasingly favored glass beverage containers over plastic ones.

(B) Plastic bottles were significantly heavier than aluminum cans of comparable size.

(C) Most recycled aluminum cans were beverage containers, but a significant fraction of recycled plastic bottles were not beverage containers.

(D) The total weight of plastic bottles purchased by Brazilians increased at a slightly faster rate than did the total weight of aluminum cans purchased by Brazilians.

(E) In Brazil, the total number of plastic bottles recycled between 2000 and 2010 was less than the total number of aluminum cans recycled during that time.


Verbal Question of The Day: Day 22: Critical Reasoning


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Originally posted by souvik101990 on 30 May 2017, 20:11.
Last edited by GMATNinjaTwo on 28 Jun 2019, 08:50, edited 2 times in total.
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From 2000 to 2010, beverage containers accounted for a steadily decrea  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 28 Jun 2019, 08:52
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First, let's identify the "apparent discrepancy" in the question.

We know that from 2000 to 2010, beverage containers accounted for a steadily decreasing percentage of the total weight of domestic garbage in Brazil, thanks primarily to "the increasingly widespread practice of recycling aluminum and plastic." We also know that aluminum recycling was more widely practiced in this period than plastic recycling. So it would seem that the weight of aluminum in domestic garbage would decline faster.

But here's the discrepancy: the opposite seems to be true. "...the total weight of plastic bottles in Brazil’s domestic garbage declined by a greater percentage during this time than the total weight of aluminum cans in Brazil’s domestic garbage."

So we need to find something that will help us explain why the total weight of plastic bottles declined by a greater percentage than the weight of aluminum cans -- despite the fact that aluminum recycling was more widespread during this period.

Quote:
(A) Consumers increasingly favored glass beverage containers over plastic ones.

At first glance, this might seem to be out of scope, since the passage doesn't mention glass at all. But (A) is basically telling us that recycling might not be the only factor reducing the amount of aluminum in Brazil's garbage. If consumers increasingly favored glass beverage containers over plastic ones, that would reduce the number of plastic beverage bottles used by Brazilians and thus reduce the weight of plastic in Brazil's garbage.

In other words, plastic recycling may not have significantly reduced the weight of plastic in Brazil's garbage, but the change in Brazilians' preferences may have significantly reduced the weight of plastic in Brazil's garbage. This potentially explains why the percent decrease in weight was higher for plastic bottles than for aluminum cans, so let's hang on to choice (A).

Quote:
(B) Plastic bottles were significantly heavier than aluminum cans of comparable size.

Absolutely everything in the questions deals with percentages, so the relative weight of different containers is irrelevant. Choice (B) does not explain the apparent discrepancy.

Quote:
(C) Most recycled aluminum cans were beverage containers, but a significant fraction of recycled plastic bottles were not beverage containers.

This statement gives us another reason to expect the percent decrease in the weight of aluminum cans to be GREATER than the percent decrease in the weight of plastic bottles. If the opposite information were given (i.e. that a significant fraction of aluminum cans were not beverage containers and most recycled plastic bottles were beverage containers), that might help explain the discrepancy. The statement given in choice (C) only makes the discrepancy more glaring.

Quote:
(D) The total weight of plastic bottles purchased by Brazilians increased at a slightly faster rate than did the total weight of aluminum cans purchased by Brazilians.

This statement also makes the discrepancy more glaring. If plastic recycling is less widespread AND Brazilians are using more plastic bottles, we would certainly expect the weight of aluminum cans to decrease by a larger percentage. If we were told that the total weight of aluminum cans purchased by Brazilians increased at a significantly faster rate than did the total weight of plastic bottles, that might explain the discrepancy; however, the statement given in choice (D) does not explain the discrepancy.

Quote:
(E) In Brazil, the total number of plastic bottles recycled between 2000 and 2010 was less than the total number of aluminum cans recycled during that time.

We don't care about the number of bottles or cans, only about the total weight as a percentage of the total domestic garbage. Statement (E) does not help.

Choice (A) is the best answer.
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Originally posted by GMATNinja on 30 May 2017, 20:12.
Last edited by GMATNinjaTwo on 28 Jun 2019, 08:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: From 2000 to 2010, beverage containers accounted for a steadily decrea  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 31 May 2017, 12:06
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IMO A.

A. CORRECT. If plastic bottles are ditched in favor of some other material then less tonnage of plastic garbage will be available.
B. INCORRECT. If this is true then it should have been true in past also and hence doesn't explain why there is a sudden drop in plastic garbage.
C. IRRELEVANT. We are concerned with beverage cans.
D. INCORRECT. Same argument as B plus people buying more plastic doesn't automatically prove that they are recycling more.
E. INCORRECT. % increase in no of plastic < % increase in no of Al doesn't prove that % change weight of P < % change in weight of Al recycled.

Originally posted by deep14 on 30 May 2017, 22:53.
Last edited by deep14 on 31 May 2017, 12:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: From 2000 to 2010, beverage containers accounted for a steadily decrea  [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2017, 07:24
Phew this one was a tough one .. My take on this one :

Premise :

1) % of beverage containers in domestic waste has been decreasing over a period from 2000 to 2010. Recycling was responsible for this trend.
2) Aluminum recycling was more widely practiced in this period than plastic recycling,

Conclusion :

The total weight of plastic bottles in Brazil’s domestic garbage declined by a greater percentage during this time than the total weight of aluminum cans in Brazil’s domestic garbage.

This is a paradox question.

Pre-think : We need to find out why the total weight of plastic bottles in garbage declined by a greater % than the decline in total weight of aluminum cans in spite of greater recycling of aluminum cans. Please note that the conclusion compares % decline with decline in total weight. The total decline in weight of aluminum cans has to be more than the total decline in weight of plastic bottles. But if the % of decline in plastic is more , the decline could be because the sample space of plastic cans is smaller and the qty hence recycled is a greater % of this smaller qty.

POE :

a) This options conveys that the sample space of plastic is small because of a higher qty of glass bottles - hold
b) Are we concerned about the weight of plastic vs aluminum cans ? - out
c) We are not concerned about the fraction of beverage cans among plastic or glass bottles - out
d) How does the frequency of purchase matter ? Moreover we still cannot deduce that the sample space of plastic is smaller - out
e) Are we concerned with the number or weight ? - Out

Only option A seems feasible.
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Re: From 2000 to 2010, beverage containers accounted for a steadily decrea  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2018, 21:45
souvik101990 wrote:
From 2000 to 2010, beverage containers accounted for a steadily decreasing percentage of the total weight of domestic garbage in Brazil. The increasingly widespread practice of recycling aluminum and plastic was responsible for most of this decline. However, although aluminum recycling was more widely practiced in this period than plastic recycling, the total weight of plastic bottles in Brazil’s domestic garbage declined by a greater percentage during this time than the total weight of aluminum cans in Brazil’s domestic garbage.

Which of the following, if true in Brazil from 2000 to 2010, most helps to account for the apparent discrepancy?


(A) Consumers increasingly favored glass beverage containers over plastic ones.

(B) Plastic bottles were significantly heavier than aluminum cans of comparable size.

(C) Most recycled aluminum cans were beverage containers, but a significant fraction of recycled plastic bottles were not beverage containers.

(D) The total weight of plastic bottles purchased by Brazilians increased at a slightly faster rate than did the total weight of aluminum cans purchased by Brazilians.

(E) In Brazil, the total number of plastic bottles recycled between 2000 and 2010 was less than the total number of aluminum cans recycled during that time.


Verbal Question of The Day: Day 22: Critical Reasoning


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Beverage containers/Total Garbage is decreasing - because aluminium and plastic are being recycled. So if it was 20% before, it is 10% now.

Aluminium recycling was more widely practiced than plastic recycling.

But "plastic bottles weight/total garbage weight" reduced more than "aluminium can weight/total garbage weight".
So say if "plastic bottles weight/total garbage weight" was 5%, it has come down to 2% while "aluminium can weight/total garbage" weight has come down from 5% to only 4%. More reduction in plastic weight.

Discrepancy - Though aluminium recycling is more popular, plastic beverage weight has come down more.

It seems that there is something other than recycling too that is reducing the plastic. Let's look at the options.

(A) Consumers increasingly favored glass beverage containers over plastic ones.

This is the answer. It tells us why plastic beverage weight is coming down more than aluminium weight. Plastic is being replaced by glass. So perhaps the plastic weight is going down from 5% to 3% because of that. Then from 3%, it is going down to 2% because of recycling.

(B) Plastic bottles were significantly heavier than aluminum cans of comparable size.

We don't know the terms in which we measure "aluminium recycling is more popular than plastic recycling" - is it units recycled or weight recycled. Hence, this statement does not explain the paradox.

(C) Most recycled aluminum cans were beverage containers, but a significant fraction of recycled plastic bottles were not beverage containers.

This is irrelevant. Note what our paradox is: Though aluminium recycling is more popular than plastic recycling, "plastic bottles weight/total garbage weight" reduced more than "aluminium can weight/total garbage weight".
What part of plastic bottles constituted beverage containers and what part of aluminium cans constituted beverage containers is irrelevant to our paradox. The weight of each is being compared with total garbage weight. The sentence about beverage containers reducing is given as context only.

(D) The total weight of plastic bottles purchased by Brazilians increased at a slightly faster rate than did the total weight of aluminum cans purchased by Brazilians.

With aluminium recycling being more popular and rate of buying aluminium being lesser, aluminium should have decreased by a greater percentage in the total garbage as compared with plastic. It doesn't resolve the paradox, it instead makes it more unlikely.

(E) In Brazil, the total number of plastic bottles recycled between 2000 and 2010 was less than the total number of aluminum cans recycled during that time.

If fewer plastic bottles were recycled as compared with number of aluminium cans, aluminium cans should have decreased by a greater percentage in the total garbage as compared with plastic bottles. It doesn't resolve the paradox, it instead makes it more unlikely.

Answer (A)
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Re: From 2000 to 2010, beverage containers accounted for a steadily decrea  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2019, 04:20
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If the plastic cans are heavier than the aluminium cans, doesn't that signify the fact that even when recycling of aluminium cans was more widely practiced that recycling of of plastic cans, the smaller percentage of plastic cans being recycled accounted for the greater reduction in the weight? How does the fact that everything in the question is in percentages lead to us eliminating option B as an option choice?
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Re: From 2000 to 2010, beverage containers accounted for a steadily decrea  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2019, 17:53
PurviGupta1998 wrote:
If the plastic cans are heavier than the aluminium cans, doesn't that signify the fact that even when recycling of aluminium cans was more widely practiced that recycling of of plastic cans, the smaller percentage of plastic cans being recycled accounted for the greater reduction in the weight? How does the fact that everything in the question is in percentages lead to us eliminating option B as an option choice?


Yes,I too agree with option -B

Say for example,weight of one plastic bottle =2kg

Weight of one aluminum bottle/can =1 kg

Since aluminum recycling is more popular,let us assume more aluminum cans are reduced from garbage.

If 150 aluminum cans are reduced and 100 plastic cans are reduced from garbage then weight of aluminum reduced would be 150kg,whereas weight of plastic reduced would be 200kg (100*2)

Kindly help us out VeritasKarishma & GMATNinja

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Re: From 2000 to 2010, beverage containers accounted for a steadily decrea  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2019, 21:38
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Ashokshiva wrote:
PurviGupta1998 wrote:
If the plastic cans are heavier than the aluminium cans, doesn't that signify the fact that even when recycling of aluminium cans was more widely practiced that recycling of of plastic cans, the smaller percentage of plastic cans being recycled accounted for the greater reduction in the weight? How does the fact that everything in the question is in percentages lead to us eliminating option B as an option choice?


Yes,I too agree with option -B

Say for example,weight of one plastic bottle =2kg

Weight of one aluminum bottle/can =1 kg

Since aluminum recycling is more popular,let us assume more aluminum cans are reduced from garbage.

If 150 aluminum cans are reduced and 100 plastic cans are reduced from garbage then weight of aluminum reduced would be 150kg,whereas weight of plastic reduced would be 200kg (100*2)

Kindly help us out VeritasKarishma & GMATNinja

Thanks


As I explained in my solution above, we do not know how popularity is measured. What do you mean when you say:
"Aluminium recycling was more widely practiced than plastic recycling."

Case 1: Does it mean that for every 10 Alu cans sold, 6 come back for recycling while for every 10 plastic bottles, only 4 come back?
Case 2: Or does it mean for every 10 kg of Alu sold, 6 kg comes back while for every 10 kg of plastic sold, only 4 kg comes back?

In any case, more Alu is getting recycled so less is going into the garbage.

But we do know that in 1000 kg of garbage, where we used to have 50 kg of Alu before, we now have only 40 kg but 50 kg of plastic has come down to 20 kg of plastic.

How come, in the garbage, the percentage of plastic is has reduced even more than the percentage of Alu? Perhaps because less plastic is being used nowadays. So though people are not very keen on recycling it (not as much as recycling alu), they are anyway using very less of it so little is going to find its way in the trash. Hence (A) is correct.

In (B), we do not know how we measure "Aluminium recycling was more widely practiced than plastic recycling."
If it is case 1, then it is possible that difference in weight of every unit accounts for the greater reduction in plastic weight. If it is case 2, then the greater reduction in plastic weight is not explained. Hence, this is not a good explanation of the discrepancy.
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Re: From 2000 to 2010, beverage containers accounted for a steadily decrea  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2019, 08:35
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Ashokshiva wrote:
PurviGupta1998 wrote:
If the plastic cans are heavier than the aluminium cans, doesn't that signify the fact that even when recycling of aluminium cans was more widely practiced that recycling of of plastic cans, the smaller percentage of plastic cans being recycled accounted for the greater reduction in the weight? How does the fact that everything in the question is in percentages lead to us eliminating option B as an option choice?


Yes,I too agree with option -B

Say for example,weight of one plastic bottle =2kg

Weight of one aluminum bottle/can =1 kg

Since aluminum recycling is more popular,let us assume more aluminum cans are reduced from garbage.

If 150 aluminum cans are reduced and 100 plastic cans are reduced from garbage then weight of aluminum reduced would be 150kg,whereas weight of plastic reduced would be 200kg (100*2)

Kindly help us out VeritasKarishma & GMATNinja

Thanks

Karishma covered this nicely as always, but I'll toss in my two cents again in case it helps somebody to hear the same ideas in a different voice.

We are not concerned with the TOTAL reduction (kg) of plastic or aluminum. We are concerned with percent decrease within each group (aluminum and plastic).

Let's say we start with 1000 aluminum cans and 1000 plastic bottles. Using the numbers in your example, we decrease by 150 aluminum cans and 100 plastic bottles. So aluminum goes from 1000kg to 850kg (15% reduction in weight). Plastic goes from 2000kg to 1800kg (10% reduction in weight). So the weight of the aluminum declines by a greater percentage in that case.

Remember, we are trying to explain why, "the total weight of plastic bottles in Brazil’s domestic garbage declined by a greater percentage during this time than the total weight of aluminum cans in Brazil’s domestic garbage."

I hope that helps!
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Re: From 2000 to 2010, beverage containers accounted for a steadily decrea   [#permalink] 01 Jul 2019, 08:35
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