The following two quotes partially sums up this frightening and enraging investigative report from Laura Sullivan:
If the public thinks that recycling is working, then they are not going to be as concerned about the environment— Larry Thomas, former president of the Society of the Plastics Industry Wikipedia
However, even when it’s technically possible to recycle a particular plastic, it’s often economically unfeasible to recycle it, and this can mislead consumers into thinking that more plastic is recycled than really is. In the U.S. in 2008, only 6.5% of plastic waste was recycled.““Energy and Economic Value of Non-recycled Plastics and Municipal Solid Wastes” at Journalist’s Resource.org”.
Plastics and oil are closely tied together, but the plastics industry formed their own group in 1937, called the Society of the Plastics Industry, which in 2008 became the Plastics Industry Association;
What is maddening is that this report shows that the plastics and oil industry knew in 1973 and 1974 that it was cheaper and faster to make new plastic than to recycle the old. However, these industries recognized that the public was becoming concerned about the polluting plastic trash that was fast accumulating. So the solution was to launch a massive advertising campaign to trick the public into believing that most plastic was being recycled, with the plastics companies posing as environmentalists who were concerned and who were addressing the problem.
Part of this deception was to introduce the Resin Identification Code (RIC) system in 1988, ostensibly to facilitate identification of the type of plastic for recycling, but in reality to make the consumer believe the plastic would be recycled and not a pollutant for the planet.
The reality is that less than 10 per cent of plastic has ever been recycled, simply because it is cheaper and faster to make new instead.
This campaign of lies continues today as seen in this misleading ad by the American Beverage Association which claims 100 per cent recycled. We don’t believe it and the American public should not either.
Nestle tells even more blatant lies: In 2019, about 87% of our total packaging by weight and 66% of our total plastic packaging was recyclable or reusable,…
but we submit that yes, it was possible to cycle it, but it was not recycled. Deceptive statement. They go on to blow hot air by saying they will have 100 per cent recycled by 2025. It won’t happen. The industry’s plan to deceive the public has not changed in 30 years. But why change if it is working?
Keep in mind that Nestle plans to produce between 4,800 – 6,000 plastic bottles PER MINUTE at the Ginnie Springs plant, if they get their permit. In 2008 about 6.5% of the plastic produced in the USA was recycled. In spite of Nestle’s lies about recycling, we expect that perhaps this is a good number to predict. The rest go into landfills, city streets, road ditches, rivers and springs.
The scary truth remains that at this point in time we simply do not know what effects the omnipresent micoplastics will have on the human body.
The link to NPR has an audio and also a tab to click to see a transcript of the audio.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum
Last year, Planet Money ran a show about why it doesn’t make sense economically and, heartbreakingly, even environmentally to recycle plastic. But if recycling most plastic is not working now — and if it didn’t work 30 years ago when the numbers and arrows first popped up — did it ever work? And why did it take us so long to learn the truth? In this episode, NPR reporter Laura Sullivan, with the support of PBS’s Frontline, sets out to find out who is responsible.
And what she finds is a paper trail — crinkled-up documents (that apparently did not get recycled) long forgotten in old boxes. And the trail leads, well, to a guy on a beach in Florida.
Go to this link at NPR.