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Most disposable plastic containers are now labeled with a code

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Most disposable plastic containers are now labeled with a code  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Oct 2017, 21:11
2
18
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

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Question Stats:

51% (01:41) correct 49% (01:48) wrong based on 650 sessions

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Most disposable plastic containers are now labeled with a code number (from 1 to 9) indicating the type or quality of the plastic. Plastics with the lowest code numbers are the easiest for recycling plants to recycle and are thus the most likely to be recycled after use rather than dumped in landfills. Plastics labeled with the highest numbers are only rarely recycled. Consumers can make a significant long-term reduction in the amount of waste that goes unrecycled, therefore, by refusing to purchase those products packaged in plastic containers labeled with the highest code numbers.

Which one of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the conclusion above?

(A) The cost of collecting, sorting, and recycling discarded plastics is currently higher than the cost of manufacturing new plastics from virgin materials.

(B) Many consumers are unaware of the codes that are stamped on the plastic containers.

(C) A plastic container almost always has a higher code number after it is recycled than it had before recycling because the recycling process causes a degradation of the quality of the plastic.

(D) Products packaged in plastics with the lowest code numbers are often more expensive than those packaged in the higher-numbered plastics.

(E) Communities that collect all discarded plastic containers for potential recycling later dump in landfills plastics with higher-numbered codes only when it is clear that no recycler will take them.

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Re: Most disposable plastic containers are now labeled with a code  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Oct 2017, 21:47
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I would go for C
C is saying that even if the consumers were able to buy the easiest to recycle plastics, it is not going to end in a long term reduction of unrecycled plastics
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Re: Most disposable plastic containers are now labeled with a code  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Oct 2017, 22:24
2
Octobre wrote:
I would go for C
C is saying that even if the consumers were able to buy the easiest to recycle plastics, it is not going to end in a long term reduction of unrecycled plastics



I would like to present my reasoning against choice C.

Imagine a customer is looking at a shelf and he/she has 2 options.

Option 1: Choosing a plastic container with code number 1
If he/she chooses this option, this particular container is likely to be recycled and not go in a landfill
Thus,
Recycling : +1
Landfill : 0

Option 2: Choosing a plastic container with code number 9
If he/she chooses this option, this particular container is likely to go to a landfill.
Thus,
Recycling : 0
Landfill : +1

Now as stated in choice C, the plastic container AFTER usage becomes code number 9 and hence will likely go to landfill.
The final score will be

Recycling : +1
Landfill : +1

Had the customer chose Option 2, the score would have been

Recycling: 0
Landfill: +2

Hence, as you can see, the customer choice IS making a difference. That's exactly what the conclusion is saying. While I agree that the impact may not be "significant" , but then it depends on the number of customer buying these plastic containers as well.
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Re: Most disposable plastic containers are now labeled with a code  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Oct 2017, 03:57
B??!!!

If the customers cannot even make out the number, how can they make long term commitments?
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Re: Most disposable plastic containers are now labeled with a code  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Oct 2017, 19:13
IMO B

Conclusion: Consumers can make a difference by refusing plastic with high number.

B undermines the conclusion since if people are unaware, how will they choose
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Re: Most disposable plastic containers are now labeled with a code  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Oct 2017, 22:47
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If you read the last sentence closely, you will realize that the argument assumes that the consumer are aware about the codes. What the consumers are not aware about is that containers with high code number are less likely to be recycled.

Hence, IMO option B is incorrect because it goes against what is assumed in the argument.
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Most disposable plastic containers are now labeled with a code  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Oct 2017, 02:39
I chose D at first but I think the right answer is C ,

According to 'c', higher numbers mean it's already recycled. but if customers refuse to use recycled packages, then manufacturers should keep manufacturing new packages. and even after recycling the lower number coded packages, which have higher number now, people would not buy them. with this flow, in a long-term, the total demand for the recycled packages will shrink. Thus 'C' undermines the conclusion.

what do you think?
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Re: Most disposable plastic containers are now labeled with a code  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Oct 2017, 03:24
Sanjeetgujrall wrote:
IMO B

Conclusion: Consumers can make a difference by refusing plastic with high number.

B undermines the conclusion since if people are unaware, how will they choose


B doesnt seen right because if somebody unaware of labelling then equal chance.
C seems correct.
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Re: Most disposable plastic containers are now labeled with a code  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Dec 2017, 16:30
in many gmat question, B is a common and important pattern for assumption questions. In this question, "many people" is not good enough; thus, B is a trap. C is better.

Anyway, I hardly believe that gmat will include such question on the real exam.
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Re: Most disposable plastic containers are now labeled with a code  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2018, 09:04
Accepting C as the correct answer, I think the key flaw in the argumentation would be that if everyone bought only products with the lowest number, the higher numbers obviously would not be bought, thus not be recycled. The system would fail if everyone would buy number 1.
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Most disposable plastic containers are now labeled with a code  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 09 Sep 2018, 01:00
Hi there! I'd appreciate your opinion on this question and perhaps also your view on how likely it is that such a question might show up on a GMAT. In the latest comment I gave my view on the subject, however, I am not completely convinced that this is the correct explanation.
Thanks ahead!

Originally posted by heintzkopf on 08 Sep 2018, 09:10.
Last edited by heintzkopf on 09 Sep 2018, 01:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Most disposable plastic containers are now labeled with a code  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2018, 17:57
Hmm this was a tricky one. I wasn't sure if consumer awareness was a given and chose B.

My second choice was C, which turns out to be correct.
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Most disposable plastic containers are now labeled with a code  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Oct 2018, 00:46
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I did not understand the reasoning behind option C.

Option 1:
If the consumers buy plastic product that have a high rating ( 7, 8 or 9), they are choosing to buy products that have very limited scope for recycling.

Option2:
However, if they buy plastic products that have a lower rating ( 1, 2 ... 6), they are allowing at least one iteration of recycling. When most consumers take up this practice, over time there would be multiple iterations of recycling for these products by the time the products reach a rating of 8 or 9.
This could result in a significant reduction in the amount of waste that goes unrecycled.

On any day, option 2 reduces un-recyclable waste more than option 1 does. If so, how does this answer choice undermine the conclusion?

Can any of the experts please provide his insight?
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Re: Most disposable plastic containers are now labeled with a code  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Oct 2018, 17:54
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PriyankaPalit7 wrote:
I did not understand the reasoning behind option C.

Option 1:
If the consumers buy plastic product that have a high rating ( 7, 8 or 9), they are choosing to buy products that have very limited scope for recycling.

Option2:
However, if they buy plastic products that have a lower rating ( 1, 2 ... 6), they are allowing at least one iteration of recycling. When most consumers take up this practice, over time there would be multiple iterations of recycling for these products by the time the products reach a rating of 8 or 9.
This could result in a significant reduction in the amount of waste that goes unrecycled.

On any day, option 2 reduces un-recyclable waste more than option 1 does. If so, how does this answer choice undermine the conclusion?

Can any of the experts please provide his insight?

To clarify, let's take one more look at the conclusion:

Quote:
Consumers can make a significant long-term reduction in the amount of waste that goes unrecycled, therefore, by refusing to purchase those products packaged in plastic containers labeled with the highest code numbers.

In other words, if consumers refuse to purchase products with high code numbers, the result will be a significant long-term reduction in unrecycled waste.

The conclusion is not "Buying high-code packaging leads to more reduction of waste than buying low-code packaging." That's because the conclusion never mentions whether or not consumers continue to purchase products with low code numbers. Consumers do not have to purchase more low-code packaging in order to refuse high-code packaging.

So when we set out to undermine the conclusion, we should focus on the consequence of not purchasing high-code packaging.

Quote:
(C) A plastic container almost always has a higher code number after it is recycled than it had before recycling because the recycling process causes a degradation of the quality of the plastic.

Choice (C) tells us that the content of high-code packaging is actually recycled low-code packaging.

  • This implies that when consumers choose to buy high-code packaging, they are motivating producers to recycle low-code packaging and turn that recycled plastic into high-code packaging.
  • So if consumers refuse to buy high-code packaging, then there will be no demand for the recycled plastic that is used to create that packaging.
  • Consequently, we could see a drop in the amount of low-code plastic that is recycled for use in higher-code packaging.
  • This isn't airtight, but it does undermine the conclusion, because rather than seeing a "significant long-term reduction in the amount of waste that goes unrecycled" we might actually see an increase in the amount of waste that goes unrecycled. To be specific, we might see an increase in low-code packaging that goes straight to waste because there are fewer things that could be made and sold by recycling it instead.

This is why (C) does more to weaken the conclusion than any other choice available. It's certainly a case where the correct answer choice doesn't destroy the conclusion -- for starters, it's still true that refusing to buy high-code packaging results in less high-code packaging going to landfill. But no other answer choice comes close to undermining the conclusion, so we'll stick with (C) and move on.
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Re: Most disposable plastic containers are now labeled with a code  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Oct 2018, 07:27
GMATNinja wrote:
To clarify, let's take one more look at the conclusion:

Quote:
Consumers can make a significant long-term reduction in the amount of waste that goes unrecycled, therefore, by refusing to purchase those products packaged in plastic containers labeled with the highest code numbers.

In other words, if consumers refuse to purchase products with high code numbers, the result will be a significant long-term reduction in unrecycled waste.

The conclusion is not "Buying high-code packaging leads to more reduction of waste than buying low-code packaging." That's because the conclusion never mentions whether or not consumers continue to purchase products with low code numbers. Consumers do not have to purchase more low-code packaging in order to refuse high-code packaging.

So when we set out to undermine the conclusion, we should focus on the consequence of not purchasing high-code packaging.

Quote:
(C) A plastic container almost always has a higher code number after it is recycled than it had before recycling because the recycling process causes a degradation of the quality of the plastic.

Choice (C) tells us that the content of high-code packaging is actually recycled low-code packaging.

  • This implies that when consumers choose to buy high-code packaging, they are motivating producers to recycle low-code packaging and turn that recycled plastic into high-code packaging.
  • So if consumers refuse to buy high-code packaging, then there will be no demand for the recycled plastic that is used to create that packaging.
  • Consequently, we could see a drop in the amount of low-code plastic that is recycled for use in higher-code packaging.
  • This isn't airtight, but it does undermine the conclusion, because rather than seeing a "significant long-term reduction in the amount of waste that goes unrecycled" we might actually see an increase in the amount of waste that goes unrecycled. To be specific, we might see an increase in low-code packaging that goes straight to waste because there are fewer things that could be made and sold by recycling it instead.

This is why (C) does more to weaken the conclusion than any other choice available. It's certainly a case where the correct answer choice doesn't destroy the conclusion -- for starters, it's still true that refusing to buy high-code packaging results in less high-code packaging going to landfill. But no other answer choice comes close to undermining the conclusion, so we'll stick with (C) and move on.


Dear GMATNinja

Why option D wrong? the cost may deter consumers from buying low grade recycled packages and forced them to buy the higher one and hence increase the waste.

I may argue that word 'often' makes the choice not as weak as choice C.

What do you think, Charles?

Thanks for your help
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Re: Most disposable plastic containers are now labeled with a code  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Oct 2018, 07:17
Mo2men wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
To clarify, let's take one more look at the conclusion:

Quote:
Consumers can make a significant long-term reduction in the amount of waste that goes unrecycled, therefore, by refusing to purchase those products packaged in plastic containers labeled with the highest code numbers.

In other words, if consumers refuse to purchase products with high code numbers, the result will be a significant long-term reduction in unrecycled waste.

The conclusion is not "Buying high-code packaging leads to more reduction of waste than buying low-code packaging." That's because the conclusion never mentions whether or not consumers continue to purchase products with low code numbers. Consumers do not have to purchase more low-code packaging in order to refuse high-code packaging.

So when we set out to undermine the conclusion, we should focus on the consequence of not purchasing high-code packaging.

Quote:
(C) A plastic container almost always has a higher code number after it is recycled than it had before recycling because the recycling process causes a degradation of the quality of the plastic.

Choice (C) tells us that the content of high-code packaging is actually recycled low-code packaging.

  • This implies that when consumers choose to buy high-code packaging, they are motivating producers to recycle low-code packaging and turn that recycled plastic into high-code packaging.
  • So if consumers refuse to buy high-code packaging, then there will be no demand for the recycled plastic that is used to create that packaging.
  • Consequently, we could see a drop in the amount of low-code plastic that is recycled for use in higher-code packaging.
  • This isn't airtight, but it does undermine the conclusion, because rather than seeing a "significant long-term reduction in the amount of waste that goes unrecycled" we might actually see an increase in the amount of waste that goes unrecycled. To be specific, we might see an increase in low-code packaging that goes straight to waste because there are fewer things that could be made and sold by recycling it instead.

This is why (C) does more to weaken the conclusion than any other choice available. It's certainly a case where the correct answer choice doesn't destroy the conclusion -- for starters, it's still true that refusing to buy high-code packaging results in less high-code packaging going to landfill. But no other answer choice comes close to undermining the conclusion, so we'll stick with (C) and move on.


Dear GMATNinja

Why option D wrong? the cost may deter consumers from buying low grade recycled packages and forced them to buy the higher one and hence increase the waste.

I may argue that word 'often' makes the choice not as weak as choice C.

What do you think, Charles?

Thanks for your help



lemme try to explain

Most disposable plastic containers are now labeled with a code number (from 1 to 9) indicating the type or quality of the plastic. Plastics with the lowest code numbers are the easiest for recycling plants to recycle and are thus the most likely to be recycled after use rather than dumped in landfills. Plastics labeled with the highest numbers are only rarely recycled. Consumers can make a significant long-term reduction in the amount of waste that goes unrecycled, therefore, by refusing to purchase those products packaged in plastic containers labeled with the highest code numbers.

premise: MOST disposable C's are labeled 1-9
premise: the lower the code the easy it is to recycle.
premise: high code rarely recycled

CONCLUSION : [color=#ff0000]pay close attention - Consumers can make a significant long-term reduction in the amount of waste that goes unrecycled, therefore, by refusing to purchase those products packaged in plastic containers labeled with the highest code numbers.

: IF consumers dont PURCHASE high numbered , THEN amount of unrecycled waste reduces OVER A LONG TERM.
the author basically concludes that reduction in purchasing high numbered will lead to reduction in waste[/color]

HE IS NOT CONCERNED WHETHER CONSUMERS ACTUALLY PURCHASE THE HIGH NUMBERED OR WHETHER SOMETHING MIGHT HOLD THEM BACK.
THE AUTHOR BASICALLY USES THE TERM "CONSUMERS" TO PUT HIS CONCLUSION IN CONTEXT. AUTHOR SAY " CONSUMERS CAN MAKE" ...
WE HERE ARE CONCERNED WITH THE LATER EFFECT NOT THE CONDITION.


AUTHOR'S conclusion : REDUCTION IN PURCHASE LEADS TO REDUCTION IN WASTE.

YOUR CONCLUSION : REDUCTION WILL HAPPEN WHEN CONSUMERS REDUCE PURCHASE. >> this will lead u into thinking that reduction in waste only happen if consumers ACTUALLY reduce the purchase.


MAIN CONCLUSION IS : REDUCTION IN PURCHASE >> REDUCTION IN WASTE......

look carefully at the phrase " consumers CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN CAN" --- the "can" accepts the scenario of consumers being deterred or unaware of high numbered. the "can" also accepts the situation in which CONSUMER KNOWS ALL.

with this in mind , now try to analyse answer choice.
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Most disposable plastic containers are now labeled with a code  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Oct 2018, 13:27
1
Mo2men wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
To clarify, let's take one more look at the conclusion:

Quote:
Consumers can make a significant long-term reduction in the amount of waste that goes unrecycled, therefore, by refusing to purchase those products packaged in plastic containers labeled with the highest code numbers.

In other words, if consumers refuse to purchase products with high code numbers, the result will be a significant long-term reduction in unrecycled waste.

The conclusion is not "Buying high-code packaging leads to more reduction of waste than buying low-code packaging." That's because the conclusion never mentions whether or not consumers continue to purchase products with low code numbers. Consumers do not have to purchase more low-code packaging in order to refuse high-code packaging.

So when we set out to undermine the conclusion, we should focus on the consequence of not purchasing high-code packaging.

Quote:
(C) A plastic container almost always has a higher code number after it is recycled than it had before recycling because the recycling process causes a degradation of the quality of the plastic.

Choice (C) tells us that the content of high-code packaging is actually recycled low-code packaging.

  • This implies that when consumers choose to buy high-code packaging, they are motivating producers to recycle low-code packaging and turn that recycled plastic into high-code packaging.
  • So if consumers refuse to buy high-code packaging, then there will be no demand for the recycled plastic that is used to create that packaging.
  • Consequently, we could see a drop in the amount of low-code plastic that is recycled for use in higher-code packaging.
  • This isn't airtight, but it does undermine the conclusion, because rather than seeing a "significant long-term reduction in the amount of waste that goes unrecycled" we might actually see an increase in the amount of waste that goes unrecycled. To be specific, we might see an increase in low-code packaging that goes straight to waste because there are fewer things that could be made and sold by recycling it instead.

This is why (C) does more to weaken the conclusion than any other choice available. It's certainly a case where the correct answer choice doesn't destroy the conclusion -- for starters, it's still true that refusing to buy high-code packaging results in less high-code packaging going to landfill. But no other answer choice comes close to undermining the conclusion, so we'll stick with (C) and move on.


Dear GMATNinja

Why option D wrong? the cost may deter consumers from buying low grade recycled packages and forced them to buy the higher one and hence increase the waste.

I may argue that word 'often' makes the choice not as weak as choice C.

What do you think, Charles?

Thanks for your help



Hello Mo2men,
D is out of scope / irrelevant because we are not concerned about cost - it is nowhere mentioned. the main topic is about code and plastic packages (recycled/urecycled)
cheers,
D.
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Re: Most disposable plastic containers are now labeled with a code  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2018, 04:19
NarendraM wrote:
B??!!!

If the customers cannot even make out the number, how can they make long term commitments?




Hi Narendra,

Your reasoning is valid. But the question here is whether "After refusing to purchase those products packaged in plastic containers labeled with the highest code numbers would contribute to long-term reduction in the amount of waste or not ?"

So whether the customer refuses or not due to ignorance is not under our purview.

Hope it helps!!
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Re: Most disposable plastic containers are now labeled with a code  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2018, 14:48
1
Mo2men wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
To clarify, let's take one more look at the conclusion:

Quote:
Consumers can make a significant long-term reduction in the amount of waste that goes unrecycled, therefore, by refusing to purchase those products packaged in plastic containers labeled with the highest code numbers.

In other words, if consumers refuse to purchase products with high code numbers, the result will be a significant long-term reduction in unrecycled waste.

The conclusion is not "Buying high-code packaging leads to more reduction of waste than buying low-code packaging." That's because the conclusion never mentions whether or not consumers continue to purchase products with low code numbers. Consumers do not have to purchase more low-code packaging in order to refuse high-code packaging.

So when we set out to undermine the conclusion, we should focus on the consequence of not purchasing high-code packaging.

Quote:
(C) A plastic container almost always has a higher code number after it is recycled than it had before recycling because the recycling process causes a degradation of the quality of the plastic.

Choice (C) tells us that the content of high-code packaging is actually recycled low-code packaging.

  • This implies that when consumers choose to buy high-code packaging, they are motivating producers to recycle low-code packaging and turn that recycled plastic into high-code packaging.
  • So if consumers refuse to buy high-code packaging, then there will be no demand for the recycled plastic that is used to create that packaging.
  • Consequently, we could see a drop in the amount of low-code plastic that is recycled for use in higher-code packaging.
  • This isn't airtight, but it does undermine the conclusion, because rather than seeing a "significant long-term reduction in the amount of waste that goes unrecycled" we might actually see an increase in the amount of waste that goes unrecycled. To be specific, we might see an increase in low-code packaging that goes straight to waste because there are fewer things that could be made and sold by recycling it instead.

This is why (C) does more to weaken the conclusion than any other choice available. It's certainly a case where the correct answer choice doesn't destroy the conclusion -- for starters, it's still true that refusing to buy high-code packaging results in less high-code packaging going to landfill. But no other answer choice comes close to undermining the conclusion, so we'll stick with (C) and move on.


Dear GMATNinja

Why option D wrong? the cost may deter consumers from buying low grade recycled packages and forced them to buy the higher one and hence increase the waste.

I may argue that word 'often' makes the choice not as weak as choice C.

What do you think, Charles?

Thanks for your help

Quote:
(D) Products packaged in plastics with the lowest code numbers are often more expensive than those packaged in the higher-numbered plastics.

As dave13 pointed out, cost isn't a factor in the argument that we're evaluating.

Even if low-code products are often more expensive than high-code packaging, consumers can still refuse to purchase high-code packaging. Nothing in the argument implies that this refusal to buy high-code packaging depends on relative price of high-code packaging. And simply stating that there is a difference in price does not tell us that consumers care about this difference. The conclusion is focused on reducing long-term waste, and (D) does nothing to weaken that conclusion.
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