America's plastics arent recycled but thrown in landfills

Mar 2012
59,715
41,194
New Hampshire
Recycling programs are a sham?

A Guardian investigation reveals that cities around the country are no longer recycling many types of plastic dropped into recycling bins. Instead, they are being landfilled, burned or stockpiled. From Los Angeles to Florida to the Arizona desert, officials say, vast quantities of plastic are now no better than garbage.

Once the largest buyer of US plastic waste, China shut its doors to all but highest-quality plastics in 2017. The move sent shockwaves through the American industry as recyclers scrambled, and often failed, to find new buyers. Now the turmoil besetting a global trade network, which is normally hidden from view, is hitting home.

Analysis of US export records shows that the equivalent of 19,000 shipping containers of plastic recycling per month, once exported abroad, is now stranded at home. This is enough plastic to fill 250 Olympic swimming pools each month. As municipalities are forced to deal with their own trash instead of exporting it, they are discovering a dismaying fact: much of this plastic is completely unrecyclable. The issue is with a popular class of plastics that people have traditionally been told to put into their recycling bins – a hodgepodge of items such as clamshell-style food packaging, black plastic trays, take-out containers and cold drink cups, which the industry dubs “mixed plastic”. It has become clear that there are virtually no domestic manufacturers that want to buy this waste in order to turn it into something else.

The China ban revealed an uncomfortable truth about plastic recycling, much of this plastic was never possible to recycle at all.

“[China] would just pull out the items that were actually recyclable and burn or throw away the rest,” he said. “China has subsidized the recycling industry for many years in a way that distorted our views.” Even though they are buying something that they only use for a few seconds before putting it in the recycling bin, they think it’s OK because they believe it is being recycled.”

“It’s a lot less expensive for us to put our plastics in our landfill,” said Judd. “We can’t afford to sort them, truck them, and pay for someone to take them.”

Americans' plastic recycling is dumped in landfills, investigation shows
 
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Jan 2014
18,780
5,458
California
Recycling programs are a sham?

A Guardian investigation reveals that cities around the country are no longer recycling many types of plastic dropped into recycling bins. Instead, they are being landfilled, burned or stockpiled. From Los Angeles to Florida to the Arizona desert, officials say, vast quantities of plastic are now no better than garbage.

Once the largest buyer of US plastic waste, China shut its doors to all but highest-quality plastics in 2017. The move sent shockwaves through the American industry as recyclers scrambled, and often failed, to find new buyers. Now the turmoil besetting a global trade network, which is normally hidden from view, is hitting home.

Analysis of US export records shows that the equivalent of 19,000 shipping containers of plastic recycling per month, once exported abroad, is now stranded at home. This is enough plastic to fill 250 Olympic swimming pools each month. As municipalities are forced to deal with their own trash instead of exporting it, they are discovering a dismaying fact: much of this plastic is completely unrecyclable. The issue is with a popular class of plastics that people have traditionally been told to put into their recycling bins – a hodgepodge of items such as clamshell-style food packaging, black plastic trays, take-out containers and cold drink cups, which the industry dubs “mixed plastic”. It has become clear that there are virtually no domestic manufacturers that want to buy this waste in order to turn it into something else.

The China ban revealed an uncomfortable truth about plastic recycling, much of this plastic was never possible to recycle at all.

“[China] would just pull out the items that were actually recyclable and burn or throw away the rest,” he said. “China has subsidized the recycling industry for many years in a way that distorted our views.” Even though they are buying something that they only use for a few seconds before putting it in the recycling bin, they think it’s OK because they believe it is being recycled.”

“It’s a lot less expensive for us to put our plastics in our landfill,” said Judd. “We can’t afford to sort them, truck them, and pay for someone to take them.”

Americans' plastic recycling is dumped in landfills, investigation shows
bajisima,

this has been true for a while, not only for plastics, but for glass.

https://www.recyclingtoday.com/article/recycling-programs-phase-out-glass-2018/

It has gotten to the point that a few months ago, Waste Management sent out a notice that recycling bins will be periodically inventoried, and if the wrong type, or contaminated recyclables are included, a warning will first be given, then fines will be levied.
 
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Mar 2012
59,715
41,194
New Hampshire
I still remember back when I lived in hippie Vermont, when plastic bags were becoming the rage over the old brown paper bags, the hippies said "wait plastic is way worse!" They were mocked and laughed at. Now they are getting the last laugh as a lot of stores are going back to paper and fabric bags.
 

HCProf

Council Hall
Sep 2014
29,459
19,007
USA
Its funny how we used to do all these things and now are going back to them...
Our County just banned plastic bags. I heard some grumbling about it in the grocery store line the other day. I have seen many articles about this. I have been recycling since the 80's. I can't stop now. LOL
 
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Mar 2012
59,715
41,194
New Hampshire
Our Country just banned plastic bags. I heard some grumbling about it in the grocery store line the other day. I have seen many articles about this. I have been recycling since the 80's. I can't stop now. LOL
Back to cutting down the trees for paper bags. Because the AMA has already said to stop using the fabric bags due to E Coli and Salmonella in them. lol