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Is Plastic Recycling Just a Big Fraud?

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

plastic recycling scam

Story at-a-glance -

  • Evidence suggests plastic recycling efforts can have only a minor impact even under the best of circumstances, since plastic can, at best, be recycled once, due to degradation
  • Since 1950, the world has created 6.3 trillion kilograms of plastic waste, and 91% of it has never been recycled
  • Many recycling facilities cannot process mixed plastics, even though many mixed plastic products are marked and marketed as being recyclable
  • Earth Island Institute filed a lawsuit against 10 major companies at the end of February 2020, in an effort to force them to take responsibility and pay for the environmental and ecological destruction their products are causing
  • New Mexico Senator Tom Udall has introduced new legislation — the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2020 — which would hold companies that profit from plastic accountable for the pollution they create

As plastic pollution has become a more well-recognized problem, public awareness about the need for recycling has grown as well. The question is whether or not recycling is a viable answer. Growing evidence suggests plastic recycling efforts can have only a minor impact even under the best of circumstances. As reported by The Guardian:

“Consumers are led to believe that the Earth would be healthy, if only they recycled properly, when, in reality, there is no market for most plastics to be recycled …


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