Plastic not so fantastic
🥤 Used plastic isn’t all that valuable, and has never been, according to NPR and PBS Frontline. All that effort you’ve been making to separate plastics… It might well be for naught, depending on where you live. Less than 10% of all plastic has ever been recycled. Furthermore, it can’t be used more than once or twice since it degrades every time it is recycled.
♻ According to the EPA, 8.7% of plastics were recycled in 2017 in the United States. Everything else was burned, landfilled, or ended up discarded in nature. The most recycled plastics: PET (recycling code 1) and HDPE (recycling code 2) bottles, which had recycling rates of 29% and 31% respectively.
🌊 The ocean is the final destination for quite a lot of plastic. An estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic ends up in the oceans every year. Given that half of the total plastics in the world were made in the last 13 years, well, that’s probably only going to get worse.
🤷♀ What to do? We have to stop the use of single use plastic. Easier said than done, I know. Consumer choice isn’t enough. We need to demand that the companies that make the products we use change.