Home Tech The big recyclable plastic lie EXPOSED: Major plastic producers have known for decades that recycling products was neither economically or practically possible

The big recyclable plastic lie EXPOSED: Major plastic producers have known for decades that recycling products was neither economically or practically possible

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Big oil and plastic companies lied when they told consumers recycling is feasible, report claims

Big oil companies and plastic producers have known for more than 30 years that recycling is not a permanent solution, a new report claims.

The left-leaning Center for Climate Integrity (CCI) found that companies such as Exxon Chemical and the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) have misled the public about recycling to avoid regulatory action and lost revenue.

The report states that the plastics industry is aware that certain plastics are impossible to reuse, but are mixed with others that can, making sorting difficult and expensive.

While it is said that companies knew that recycling was not economically or technically viable, they have continued to push recycling in marketing campaigns that still exist today.

However, industry experts have been sounding the alarm for decades, saying that plastic recycling is “uneconomical” and “cannot continue indefinitely,” according to newly surfaced documents appearing in the report.

Big oil and plastic companies lied when they told consumers recycling is feasible, report claims

Big oil and plastic companies lied when they told consumers recycling is feasible, report claims

CCI used existing research and internal APC staff documents, which allegedly suggest that the plastics and petrochemical industries were aware of the obstacles to recycling and the impact of plastic on our planet.

Richard Wiles, president of CCI, said: “This evidence shows that many of the same fossil fuel companies that knew and lied for decades about how their products cause climate change have also known and lied to the public about plastic recycling.”

‘The lies of the oil industry are at the center of the two most catastrophic pollution crises in human history.

‘When corporations and trade groups know that their products pose serious risks to society and then lie to the public and policymakers about it, they must be held accountable.

“Responsibility means stopping lying, telling the truth and paying for the harm you have caused.”

The big recyclable plastic lie EXPOSED Major plastic producers have

The big recyclable plastic lie EXPOSED Major plastic producers have

However, industry experts have been sounding the alarm for decades, saying that plastic recycling is “uneconomical” and “cannot continue indefinitely,” according to newly surfaced documents appearing in the report.

1709077277 350 The big recyclable plastic lie EXPOSED Major plastic producers have

1709077277 350 The big recyclable plastic lie EXPOSED Major plastic producers have

The Vinyl Institution (VI), which represents vinyl plastic manufacturers, stated in a 1986 report that “recycling cannot be considered a permanent solution to solid waste, as it simply prolongs the time until an item is disposed of.” .

About 32 percent of Americans currently recycle, but 72 percent of products end up in landfills; In reality, only nine percent is recycled.

Plastics are made from fossil fuels such as oil and gas (known as petrochemicals) which have high levels of toxicity that leach out of the product as it degrades, meaning they cannot be recycled into food packaging or on surfaces that come into contact with food.

The waste debacle began in the 1950s, when single-use plastics were created to ensure that consumers “buy, buy, buy,” said Davis Allen, a CCI researcher and lead author of the report. The Guardian.

Then, at an industry conference in 1965, the Plastics Industry Society, a trade group, told plastics manufacturers to focus on “low cost, high volume” and “prestability” and develop materials that could be thrown away.” to the garbage cart.”

The narrative was conveyed to the public: plastic can easily be thrown away or incinerated to get rid of it.

Although VI revealed that recycling is not a solution, the Plastics Industry Society launched its Plastics Recycling Foundation in 1984, followed by the iconic arrows that tell consumers which materials can and cannot be recycled.

Although VI revealed that recycling is not a solution, the Plastics Industry Society launched its Plastics Recycling Foundation in 1984, followed by the iconic arrows that tell consumers which materials can and cannot be recycled.

Although VI revealed that recycling is not a solution, the Plastics Industry Society launched its Plastics Recycling Foundation in 1984, followed by the iconic arrows that tell consumers which materials can and cannot be recycled.

However, the tone on single-use plastics began to change in the 1980s, when officials began discussing the possibility of banning them in stores and grocery products, like what has now happened in several states such as California. and New Jersey.

The report claims that in an effort to save the plastics industry, companies turned to recycling.

The Vinyl Institution (VI), which represents vinyl plastic manufacturers, stated in a 1986 report that “recycling cannot be considered a permanent solution to solid waste, as it simply prolongs the time until an item is disposed of.” .

VI went on to explain that “recycling cannot be considered a permanent solution for solid waste,” but doing so only prolongs it until the item is dumped in a landfill.

“The practice of incinerating or burning solid waste to recover energy is actually another form of recycling,” VI continued, noting that the process has been used for municipal solid waste in the United States since 1885.

Although VI revealed that recycling is not a solution, the Plastics Industry Society launched its Plastics Recycling Foundation in 1984, followed by the iconic arrows that tell consumers which materials can and cannot be recycled.

In 1990, McDonald’s, which now uses paper packaging for most of its items, was pushing alternatives to plastic, claiming that plastic was better than paper.

1709077278 711 The big recyclable plastic lie EXPOSED Major plastic producers have

1709077278 711 The big recyclable plastic lie EXPOSED Major plastic producers have

Internal memos even showed companies were concerned that “highly sensitive” plans on recycling would come to light.

The fast-food conglomerate described its recycling efforts on all paper liners on customer trays in its brochures, and Shelby Yastrow, the company’s general counsel at the time, stated that polystyrene (the chemical used to create plastic) is 100 percent recyclable and better. for the environment than paper.

“Everything I look at tells me plastic is better,” Yastrow said. cnn At the time. “It’s a little difficult for me to convince my children or my neighbors, but the scientific community is not a problem.”

McDonald’s faced pushback from anti-Styrofoam pickets at several locations in Vermont, but after confronting protesters and telling them about its recycling efforts, CNN reported that it was “in the end.” Local activists were calling for the company to convert its paper cold drink cups to plastic.

A 1994 document quotes an Eastman Chemical representative as saying that while plastic recycling could one day become a reality, “it is more likely that we will wake up and realize that we are not going to get out of the solid waste problem.” recycling”. ‘

Handwritten notes from a meeting between Exxon Chemical and the American Plastics Council quoted Exxon Chemical’s then-vice president as saying that when it came to recycling plastics, “we are committed to the activities, but not the results.”

“It’s clear they’re committing fraud,” Wiles said.

America’s Plastic Makers is mentioned in the report for its advertising campaigns from 2020 to the present.

The ads “consisted of the Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council and its member companies, including BASF, Chevron Phillips Chemical, Dow, DuPont, Eastman, ExxonMobil, INEOS and Shell,” according to the CCI report.

1709077278 355 The big recyclable plastic lie EXPOSED Major plastic producers have

1709077278 355 The big recyclable plastic lie EXPOSED Major plastic producers have

Handwritten notes from a meeting between Exxon Chemical and the American Plastics Council quoted Exxon Chemical’s then-vice president as saying that when it came to recycling plastics, “we are committed to the activities, but we are not committed to the results.”

America’s Plastic Makers pushed literature claiming that “the plastic packaging containing your favorite Meredith magazine is recyclable.”

The group commented on the report saying: ‘UUnfortunately, this flawed report cites outdated technologies that are decades old and goes against our goals of being more sustainable by mischaracterizing the industry and the state of current recycling technologies.

“This undermines the essential benefits of plastics and the important work underway to improve the way plastics are used and reused to meet society’s needs.”

In July 2022, the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition’s campaign to promote polypropylene recyclability led How2Recycle to upgrade the status of rigid polypropylene containers to “widely recyclable” in the US.

Greenpeace responded, arguing that The Recycling Partnership and How2Recycle’s claims about the recyclability of polypropylene #5 were misleading and that less than 30 percent of Americans have access to recycling streams that accept these plastics.

“The vast majority of polypropylene packaging will end up in landfills and incinerators, regardless of whether people throw it in recycling bins,” Greenpeace continued.

The report did not claim that the named companies had violated any laws, but Alyssa Johl, a co-author of the report and a lawyer, told The Guardian that she “suspects that they violated protections against public nuisances, extortion and consumer fraud.”

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