Only 5 percent of plastic products in the U.S. are recycled, and many common items cannot be recycled at all. Damn new study Greenpeace USA released Monday.

The study estimated that the United States produced about 51 million tons of plastic waste in 2021, but only 2.4 million tons of that was recycled.

gave Data compiled by Greenpeace It’s even darker That issued by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2018. The government estimated at the time that only 9% of all plastic was recycled that year, with the remaining 91% ending up in landfills. (At the time, most of the country’s plastic was shipped to China and considered recyclable, regardless of whether it ended up in a landfill).

Shockingly, the study found that no plastic packaging in the U.S. meets the threshold to be considered “recycled.” Promoted Through the Allen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Initiative. The foundation says an item needs to meet at least a 30% recycling rate to be considered: plastic soda bottles, the most ubiquitous plastic with the highest recycling rate. One of the products, just over 20% is returned and reused. Plastic jugs fared even worse with only 10% recycling rates.

Every other type of plastic saw a recycling rate of less than 5%, many of which are not recycled at all.

“The data is clear: In practice, most plastic is not recycled,” Lisa Ramsden, senior plastics campaigner at Greenpeace USA, said in a statement. “Single-use plastic is like trillions of pieces of confetti that are spread every year by retail and fast food stores to 330 million Americans across more than 3 million square miles.”

The most pressing problem is the sheer volume and thousands of different types of plastic that need to be separated and recycled in batches. Recyclers have long argued that doing so is too expensive and that plastics, unlike other products, can only be reused once or twice. Some types of plastic are too toxic to be recycled.

“Plastic waste has always been very expensive to collect, sort, truck and safely reprocess,” the study says.

Greenpeace went a step further, saying that abnormal plastic recycling rates are expected to fall even further as more plastic is produced.

“More plastic is being produced, and a smaller percentage is being recycled,” Ramsden added. “This crisis is getting worse, and without change, will continue to get worse as the industry plans to triple plastic production by 2050.”

What can be done, Greenpeace USA said, is that it’s time to admit: “After more than 30 years, it’s time to accept that plastic recycling is a failed concept.”

“Viable alternatives to single-use plastics and packaging, such as reuse and refill systems, exist and are being rapidly scaled and invested in by the world’s biggest plastic polluters,” the group said. need to.” “These companies can no longer use recycling as a smokescreen to distract from the systemic changes that are needed.”

Amid the ongoing spread of plastic pollution, some states have begun targeting fossil fuel companies. California’s attorney general in April launched a wide-ranging investigation into what he called the industry’s “half-century campaign of deception” aimed at falsely encouraging Americans to use plastic because it’s easy to use. Can be recycled.

Oh NPR and PBS’ 2020 report “Frontline” It turns out that the plastics industry has known for decades that recycling their products would be too expensive, but has spent millions of dollars a year encouraging Americans to do it anyway.

Some local jurisdictions have outlawed some single-use plastics, but the effort is an uphill battle. America remains. Largest producer of plastics In the world, producing more than 487 pounds per person every year.

!function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod?
n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n;
n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.version=’2.0′;n.queue=[];t=b.createElement(e);t.async=!0;
t.src=v;s=b.getElementsByTagName(e)[0];
s.parentNode.insertBefore(t,s)}(window,document,’script’,’

fbq(‘init’, ‘1621685564716533’);
fbq(‘track’, “PageView”);

var _fbPartnerID = null;
if (_fbPartnerID !== null) {
fbq(‘init’, _fbPartnerID + ”);
fbq(‘track’, “PageView”);
}

(function () {
‘use strict’;
document.addEventListener(‘DOMContentLoaded’, function () {
document.body.addEventListener(‘click’, function(event) {
fbq(‘track’, “Click”);
});
});
})();

#plastic #recycled #year #worse

Source link