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Plastic companies lie about recycling, new report concludes


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Recycling plastic, which originates from oil and gas, presents substantial hurdles due to the need for meticulous sorting. This is because most of the thousands of chemically distinct plastic varieties cannot be recycled together.

And a new report, published by the the Center for Climate Integrity (CCI), shows that the plastics industry has known for more than 30 years that recycling plastic is not technically feasible or an economically sustainable solution - yet, they have continued to market and promote the plastic products as recyclable.

In doing so, these oil and petrochemical companies have enabled the single-use plastics industry to expand, while potentially breaking consumer laws designed to protect the public from misleading marketing and avoiding waste management and pollution regulations.

“The companies lied,” said Richard Wiles, president of the Center for Climate Integrity (CCI). “It’s time to hold them accountable for the damage they’ve caused.”

According to Our World in Data, only around nine percent of the world’s yearly plastic waste is effectively recycled. So clearly, the best way to reduce plastic pollution is to completely avoid single-use plastics. But this can be tough, so it is still better to continue to recycle plastic and to shop for products that either contain recycled plastic or use it for their packaging.

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It's truly disheartening to learn about the deceitful practices of the plastics industry regarding recycling. This report sheds light on how these companies have been aware for decades that recycling plastic isn't a viable solution, yet they've continued to market it as such. It's appalling to think about the environmental damage caused by their actions. With only a small fraction of plastic waste actually being recycled each year, it's evident that we need to prioritize reducing our reliance on single-use plastics altogether. While it's challenging to completely avoid them, opting for products with recycled plastic or packaging is a step in the right direction. It's high time these companies are held accountable for their deceptive practices and the harm they've caused to our planet.

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7 hours ago, Sanjo said:

Plastic recycling is a scam

Unfortunately yes, so it seems. That's why we should try to avoid single-use plastics as much as we can and - I can't stress this enough - still recycle the plastics that we do use. That is still much better than to just give up and throw it away. Remember the 3 R's: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!

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  • 3 weeks later...

The oil industry MUST keep producing more and more plastic. They are in a losing game. Given the steady shift toward renewable energy, it's their only sure way to keep making billions of dollars in profits. 

All of these plastic... It is truly horrifying. Everywhere we go, everywhere we look, plastic confronts us and surrounds us. It's even in the food we eat, and now inside our bodies. Many people might assume that it's always been like this. But it hasn't. Just a couple of decades ago food was packed in a variety of materials. We don't need plastic!

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