Plastic Recycling Is a Sham

Plastic producers have known for more than 30 years that recycling is not an economically or technically feasible plastic waste management solution. That has not stopped them from promoting it, according to a new report.

“The companies lied,” said Richard Wiles, president of fossil-fuel accountability advocacy group the Center for Climate Integrity (CCI), which published the report. “It’s time to hold them accountable for the damage they’ve caused.”

Plastic, which is made from oil and gas, is notoriously difficult to recycle. Doing so requires meticulous sorting, since most of the thousands of chemically distinct varieties of plastic cannot be recycled together. That renders an already pricey process even more expensive. Another challenge: the material degrades each time it is reused, meaning it can generally only be reused once or twice.

The industry has known for decades about these existential challenges, but obscured that information in its marketing campaigns, the report shows.


Our recycling pickup people won't even take glass anymore. That leaves paper/cardboard and metal as the only things that actually get recycled for us.

2 thoughts on “Plastic Recycling Is a Sham

    1. cleek Post author

      in single-stream recycling glass is a problem because it breaks and then becomes hard to separate from the rest of the stuff, and is dangerous to handle.

Comments are closed.