A recently released Greenpeace USA study reveals that 95% of plastic set aside to be recycled ends up being part of the trash. Only about 5% of plastic set aside from recycling ends up being converted into new products.
Plastic recycling rates are declining even as production shoots up, according to a Greenpeace USA report out Monday that blasted industry claims of creating an efficient, circular economy as “fiction.”
Titled “Circular Claims Fall Flat Again,” the study found that of 51 million tons of plastic waste generated by U.S. households in 2021, only 2.4 million tons were recycled, or around five percent. After peaking in 2014 at 10 percent, the trend has been decreasing, especially since China stopped accepting the West’s plastic waste in 2018.
Virgin production — of non-recycled plastic, that is — meanwhile is rapidly rising as the petrochemical industry expands, lowering costs.
From the beginning, while pitched as a way to help the environment, recycling programs are nothing more than needless virtue signalling and a facade since it takes quite a long time for plastic to decompose. The best way to deal with plastic pollution is looking like incineration, but environmentalists would steadfastly oppose any such facilities to do that.