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Thu Apr 21, 2022, 11:45 AM

Big Oil Touted Recycling to Sell More Plastic, and Left Cities Grappling With a Costly Waste Problem

NBC Washington
By James Pollard and Danielle Abreu

Just because that plastic item you rinsed out and placed in your recycling bin is labeled as recyclable doesn't mean it actually is.

In fact, according to a 2020 Greenpeace report, most types of plastics in the U.S. are not recyclable and usually end up in landfills or incinerators, if not polluting the environment. The vast majority of recycling facilities across the country can only accept two types of plastics, the report found, and even then only a small fraction of that plastic waste is actually processed.

How small? According to the Environmental Protection Agency less than 9% of plastic material generated in the U.S. Municipal Solid Waste stream was recycled in 2017 and 2018, the last years for which data is available. Another 15.8% was combusted for energy, while 75.6% was sent to landfills. Millions of tons also ends up in our oceans and rivers each year.

...

Hirsch pointed to a 2020 investigation by NPR and PBS’s “Frontline,” which found the makers of plastic — the nation’s largest oil companies — lobbied states in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s to mandate the “chasing arrows” symbol appear on all plastics. These petroleum companies and the industries that depend on plastic to bottle their products sold to the public the notion that the majority of plastic could be recycled, despite knowing otherwise and making billions of dollars in the process.

https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/national-international/most-of-your-plastic-waste-isnt-recyclable-and-ends-up-in-landfills-heres-why/3030840/

This is so depressing. The world is drowning in plastic.

11 replies, 635 views

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Reply Big Oil Touted Recycling to Sell More Plastic, and Left Cities Grappling With a Costly Waste Problem (Original post)
Wicked Blue Apr 2022 OP
a kennedy Apr 2022 #1
bucolic_frolic Apr 2022 #2
madville Apr 2022 #3
jimfields33 Apr 2022 #4
maxsolomon Apr 2022 #10
maxsolomon Apr 2022 #6
modrepub Apr 2022 #7
Wicked Blue Apr 2022 #11
MichMan Apr 2022 #5
maxsolomon Apr 2022 #8
dalton99a Apr 2022 #9

Response to Wicked Blue (Original post)

Thu Apr 21, 2022, 11:56 AM

1. 🤬 🤬 🤬

and ditto to being so depressing.

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Response to Wicked Blue (Original post)

Thu Apr 21, 2022, 12:00 PM

2. They were going to make building materials

In the early 80s a major conglomerate built a prototype plastic house. Studs from plastic, siding from plastic, etc. It was built in Massachusetts. Never heard another word about it. The article did have photos.

If we wean from plastic, what is the replacement packaging?

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 21, 2022, 12:07 PM

3. Paper and cardboard

Trees are a renewable resource so not a terrible thing

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Response to madville (Reply #3)

Thu Apr 21, 2022, 12:12 PM

4. Lol. Remember the 70's when paper bags were evil.

We never get it right.

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Response to jimfields33 (Reply #4)

Thu Apr 21, 2022, 12:37 PM

10. Well, a reuseable cloth bag is preferable to a paper sack that is

put in the garbage, recycling bin, or compost.

Paper factories are/were pretty toxic pollution sources - i.e. the famous "Aroma of Tacoma" from pulp mills.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 21, 2022, 12:31 PM

6. Trex is plastic lumber.

It's OK for surfaces like decks. It doesn't have the strength needed for structures. There is also plastic siding which looks like crap.

Packaging can be made from any number of compostable sources. Prior to Covid, all carry-out packaging in Seattle was required to be compostable.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 21, 2022, 12:32 PM

7. People Conducted Business

for thousands of years prior to the advent of plastic. If we truly want to minimize or eliminate this form of waste we should increase the fees to handle it. If consumers actually saw the cost of packaging on their bill maybe they'd make some decisions to purchase stuff with less of it.

A lot of packaging is done to make items more bulky so they are harder to steal. Shrinkage (theft) in the retail industry is another eye opening statistic people and the press rarely explore.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 21, 2022, 06:59 PM

11. I remember seeing park benches made of recycled plastic in the 90s

At some point all our plastic recyclables were sent to China. But then TFG started his trade war with them and they stopped accepting our plastic.

I say we find these oil company execs and make them eat the plastic.

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Response to Wicked Blue (Original post)

Thu Apr 21, 2022, 12:22 PM

5. A lot of the plastics are recyclable by definition.

The symbol just identifies the type of plastic used.

Appears that the recycling facilities (either public or private) need to step up and figure out how to recycle them.

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Response to Wicked Blue (Original post)

Thu Apr 21, 2022, 12:33 PM

8. Privatize the profit, socialize the cost.

I'm not sure corporations are fully aware that's what they do, because corporations are sociopathic.

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Response to Wicked Blue (Original post)

Thu Apr 21, 2022, 12:36 PM

9. Kick

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