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QOTD: From 2000 to 2010, beverage containers accounted for a steadily

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

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 22: Critical Reasoning


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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.


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

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

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New post 30 May 2017, 21:09
I think the answer E is proper.

Beverage containers include alumninum cans (Al) and plastic bottles (P). From the first sentence we can conclude that

(wAl + wP)/wGarbage decrease
Or (wAl/wGarbage + wP/wGarbage) decrease, where w is weight.

The 2 last sentences are premises. We can analyze that

#Al recycling > #P recycling (1), where # is the number of,

And

wP/wGarbage decrease and wP/wGarbage > wAl/wGarbage (2)

From (1) and (2), we can conclude that if the conclusion is true, there are 2 circumstances (unstated assumption) that might happen.

1st, wP > wAl
2nd, #P recycling < #Al recycling

(A) Irrelevant. How about alumninum containers?

(B) It doesnt mention recycling containers, instead general containers.

(C) Irrelevant. It should be the NUMBER of recycled plastic bottles, instead of a FRACTION of those bottles.

(D) Irrelevant. It should be RECYCLING, instead of PURCHASED.

(E) CORRECT. It supports the unstated assumption.

That's what I think.

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Last edited by ng.phg.mai on 30 May 2017, 22:04, edited 1 time in total.

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

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New post 30 May 2017, 21:53
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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.

Last edited by deep14 on 31 May 2017, 11:06, edited 1 time in total.

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

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New post 30 May 2017, 22:29
A) correct. If consumers start favouring glass containers over plastic ones while the usage of aluminium cans doesn't vary, the proportion of plastic ones in the whole lot will decrease in comparison to aluminium ones.

B) incorrect. 180 degree answer. Heavier plastic bottles will ultimately increase the weight, not happening in the argument.
Anyway this seems a vague statement.

C)Incorrect. The argument is restricted to the beverage containers. No mention of non beverage containers.

D) Incorrect. Again 180 degree answer. Same reason as option B

E)Incorrect. This option is destroying the fact. It's clearly given in the argument that aluminium recycling was more widely practiced.

Answer A



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

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New post 31 May 2017, 00:11
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.

Type - Paradox
Boil it down - Percentage of aluminum recycling was higher than that of plastic recycling .However , the actual change of plastic in trash was higher than that of aluminium in trash .


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

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

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

(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. - Incorrect

(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. - Incorrect

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

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New post 31 May 2017, 06:24
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: QOTD: From 2000 to 2010, beverage containers accounted for a steadily [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2017, 08:35
A. Plastic bottles are being replaced with glass bottles.

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

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New post 31 May 2017, 10:56
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 22: Critical Reasoning


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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.


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A is correct IMO.

"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 indicates that there was a greater decline in the weight of plastic bottle garbage than in the weight of aluminum garbage. This could possibly have been if people were using less plastic bottles (and hence there were fewer plastic bottles to recycle).

(A) Consumers increasingly favored glass beverage containers over plastic ones. -> this would mean people are using less plastic and there's less plastic garbage. Correct.

(B) Plastic bottles were significantly heavier than aluminum cans of comparable size. -> irrelevant, we are talking about percentage change of weight

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

(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 would have the opposite effect if anything. Doesn't explain the discrepancy at all.

(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. - I feel this can be a inferred from the argument, but it certainly doesn't explain the discrepancy.

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

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New post 08 Nov 2017, 21:08
D and E are basically same.
A explains why the practice of recycling aluminum did not reduce a greater percentage of aluminum garbage. Also, this is a common pattern in gmat, and this patter has nothing to do with percentage and number.

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QOTD: From 2000 to 2010, beverage containers accounted for a steadily   [#permalink] 08 Nov 2017, 21:08
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