There’s More (deception) than meets the eye

Why every single piece of plastic we’ve ever used still exists under a mountain of lies

Last week NPR broke a massive investigative piece that I filed under “stuff we should care about,” which told of how recycling plastic doesn’t work and how the makers of plastic have known this all along.

The story uncovered the recycling and plastic industry’s betrayal of the public trust; revealing that makers of plastic and recycling plants both have been lying to us about what happens to our plastic waste, the latter group apparently unwittingly. The industry has known plastic was destined for landfills since the 70’s, and yet the makers of plastic spent millions of dollars running campaigns to tell the public otherwise. The goal of these campaigns? “If the public thinks that recycling is working, then they are not going to be concerned about the environment”.

Skip ahead 50 years, and now decades worth of plastic waste is piling up and our environment can’t hide the secret any longer — just look around. The article discloses the failure of the recycling economy to support itself, and the degradation of the quality of plastics within the recycling system, causing these materials to only be recyclable once or twice. One plastic bottle doesn’t live infinite lives as we have been conditioned to believe, and new plastic is so cheap and easy to make that recycling it is one big inconvenience (to the corporations, that is).

With analysts now expecting the production of American plastics to triple by 2050, why not use this enlightenment for change. Read the full story here:

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