According to the Guardian on October 24, the latest research report shows that only 5% of the 51 million tons of plastic garbage generated by American households last year were recycled.
According to the latest research of Greenpeace, in 2021, Americans will discard 51 million tons of plastic waste, such as packaging paper, bottles and bags, with a per capita weight of 309 pounds (140 kg) of plastic, of which nearly 95% will eventually enter landfills, oceans, or be scattered in the atmosphere in the form of tiny toxic particles; Only 5% of these plastic wastes are recycled.
According to Greenpeace, the problem of plastics is not only due to excessive consumption or laziness. Even if every family classifies plastics and processes them in special recycling plants, the situation is still very bad.
The report found that no plastic packaging in the United States meets the standards for recyclable plastic packaging used by the Federal Trade Commission or the Alan MacArthur Foundation's New Plastic Economy Initiative. Even plastics that have long been considered recyclable, such as various bottles and cans, are far from reaching the 30% recovery rate required by the Foundation for its definition of recyclability.
This "scam" of recycling may irritate those who spend time and effort cleaning plastic containers and bottles, who have always believed that these plastic containers will eventually be reprocessed and reused.
"Companies such as Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola and Unilever have been cooperating with leading organizations in the industry for decades to promote plastic recycling as a solution for plastic waste. However, the data shows that most plastics are actually non recyclable." Lisa Ramsden, a plastic campaigner from Greenpeace in the United States, said.
The report, "Circular Statement Fails Again", updated the survey of 370 recycling plants in 2020. The survey found that most plastics were not widely accepted and recycled, even bottles and cans could not be completely recycled. The official recovery rate of the United States also fell from the high of 9.5% in 2014 and 8.7% in 2018.
It is reported that plastic waste is ubiquitous and difficult to classify, and it is harmful to the environment, often containing toxic substances, and the reprocessing cost is very expensive.
Ramsden said, "Instead of continuing to mislead the American public with green recycling, the industry should support an ambitious plastic treaty and finally end the plastic era."
At the United Nations Environment Conference held in Nairobi in March this year, heads of state, environment ministers and other representatives from 175 countries adopted a historic resolution aimed at ending plastic pollution by 2024 and formulating a legally binding international agreement. The resolution covers the entire life cycle of plastics, including their production, design and disposal.
According to a recent report of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), if we continue to develop according to the current situation, by 2060, the use of plastic and garbage in the world will nearly triple, while the growth of plastic recycling will be negligible. (Reporter Wang Liangliang and Huang Jiaqi)
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