eco: the big lie of recycling triangles

There’s a wave of articles about the plastic recycling problem, with predictable photos of mountains of plastic trash;

These all make it too complicated. “Data collected by Greenpeace from MRFs across the U.S. showed that only #1 and #2 plastic bottles and jugs meet the standard for being marketed as recyclable.” Those little triangle symbols on every other product, especially on plastic bags and films, are simply a lie.

And “In store drop-off” (to later be added to the rest of the trash!) is pointless work for the consumer and the store. In San Francisco you can place your carefully-collected and folded plastic bags on top of your recycling bin, but someone from the waste company told me it ends up in the trash. Obviously it’s hundreds of times more expensive to try to turn a few grams of mixed post-consumer plastic film into new products than to make new film.

♳♴ might get recycled, if it’s clear, no colors, and with minimal dirt, gunk, plastic film, labels, plastic rings, etc. attached.

♵♶♷♸♹ is not recycling, no matter how many feel-good slogans are placed nearby. It’s just garbage along with all the rest of the trash we heedlessly produce. At least plastic packaging is light and so uses little resources.

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2 Responses to eco: the big lie of recycling triangles

  1. skierpage says:

    Help me write then pass the SLAPR (Stop Lying About Plastic Recycling) Act! My latest thought is a number in a partly-shaded box indicating what percentage of post-consumer waste of this type and form factor of plastic (i.e. NOBODY RECYCLES PLASTIC FILM, or most colored plastic) is actually recycled. Anything less than 20% gets a ☹ sad face emoji. The percentage needs to be determined by an independent group, not the lying fossil fuel and plastics industries and not the local recycling companies, many of which are corrupt ex-Italian Mafia.

  2. Dale says:

    SLAPR! I love it. Check out this article about CA Senate Bill 343, which Newsom signed into law in October: https://resource-recycling.com/recycling/2021/10/12/recycling-labeling-debate-primed-to-heat-up-nationally/

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