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Floda_is_the_place t1_j50tokd wrote

This is really some next level exploitation


ThatDoesNotRefute t1_j50v4do wrote

Recycling doesn't exist on the scale people think they do. All that bullshit about separating recyclables is just so they can ship it off cheaper to those countries.

How plastic drink bottles haven't already been completely banned is beyond me.


EasterBunnyArt t1_j51c9yi wrote

Wasn’t this known for like a decade by now? I vaguely recall documentaries and such a long time ago.

Hell, we all had a screeching fest when China, and I want to also add Philippines to this as well, stopped “recycling material imports” from the legal and illegal sector,

I think Europe still dumps, I mean sells their waste to Africa and India to make itself look cleaner.


ThatDoesNotRefute t1_j51gl01 wrote

Like many other things, the literature is there but people don't read anymore. There is no curiosity or interest from the general public on doing any form of research even if that's just to confirm something they've heard.

Propaganda is the most powerful weapon there is. Most of the country simply don't care or understand that the government in of itself is a lie. They are not for the people, they are not bound by the same laws, we do not have a say on how money is spent nor do they actually care about our opinions.

Nothing will change most that will happen is that there is a nationwide riot and strikes and even then they'd just jump on a flight and crash the economy on the way out.

There is no winning, not anymore. Parliament is on lease and it's transferable.


mia_elora t1_j54at5f wrote

>Like many other things, the literature is there but people don't read anymore.

Most people don't go much further than a web-search, these days, and I just tried searching for the question of "does [recycling company] dump their recycling" to see what the results would be. The search engine ignored my question, and instead linked me to the corporate website, and a bunch of pro-recycling posts.


chalbersma t1_j552j0b wrote

> Wasn’t this known for like a decade by now?

Yes and no. There's a vested interest in making sure this doesn't become common knowledge. So every few months you'll see an article like this and a few more people will learn about it. But it hasn't reached a point where it society is generally aware of the problem.


akarichard t1_j51w8tw wrote

At my local place plastics #1/#2, metal cans, and aluminum cans all go into the same dumpster. I'm a bit suspicious of where everything actually ends up going.


Reasonable_Ticket_84 t1_j522qhq wrote

Many US municipalities still run "recycling" operations but ever since China and a few other Asian countries banned imports of "recycling" waste, they largely go to landfill. However, the "all-in one" recycling programs especially go to the landfill because its considered too expensive to even sort the recyclables in the US.


Telid t1_j52gssw wrote

Well, that made all my effort in making sure to recycle feel very pyrrhic.


0pimo t1_j52j0dn wrote

If it's a company like Republic, it goes to a sort center where the material is separated and processed further.

Plastic should really just go into an incinerator though. We operate clean incinerators in the US.

There are a few places that take it and make products out of it though. There's a company that will turn it into plastic decking for building patio decks with.

Big part of the problem with Plastic is that China undercut the market for so long, all of the plants that processed it in the US went bankrupt. Then China stopped taking it so now we're all fucked.


Numerous-Two-7550 t1_j526o7w wrote

Look at what republicans are talking about openly and you have your answer: distractions instead of progress because distractions cause “business” to have free reign to do literally anything instead of being governed by us.


Jonatollah t1_j543uoq wrote

Okay but democrats are the ones allocating subsidies to the companies that are defrauding the public by not actually recycling. Did I miss something !


Numerous-Two-7550 t1_j55aoj7 wrote

Yes, democrats don’t award anything to private companies everything in congress is agreed upon by committee. Republicans spiking those committees, however, by pretending to be offended by bullshit like the wrong color Starbucks cup ruins the process before it even starts.


rubbishapplepie t1_j533bk0 wrote

Things like plastic bottles and one-time-use plastic are a classic case of we'll-figure-it-out-later. Later just happens to be in India.


Uristqwerty t1_j534934 wrote

Better to leave the recycling programs in place, though. If the political will exists to upgrade what happens behind-the-scenes, it could only take a few short years to improve. For the public, though? Habits can transcend generations, so having everyone sort their recyclables from their trash regardless is valuable just to keep the opportunity open.


TheAb5traktion t1_j51wzn4 wrote

The same applies to clothing/clothing donations as well. Often times, thrift stores receive more than they can sell. So, they sell the excess clothing to 3rd parties who make rags from clothing and/or ship clothing overseas to be sold. And just like "recycled" materials, the clothing ends up in dump sites. The donation bins you see in parking lots are often owned by agencies who strictly sell the clothing overseas.


crewchiefguy t1_j53zxrh wrote

I try to buy as much stuff as I can in cardboard, glass and aluminum as those are the only things that have a high likelihood of actually being recycled. Unfortunately it’s very difficult to cut back on plastic use.


spinereader81 t1_j51hcy7 wrote

It's so irritating how us Millenniel and late Gen X folks were lied to throughout the 90s that by recycling we were saving the world. Maybe back then there was a decent amount of actual recycling, but not anymore.


keatonatron t1_j51ozsj wrote

The phrase "reduce, reuse, recycle" is supposed to be employed in that order. If you jump straight to "consume like usual, and if you toss it in the recycling bin it's carbon neutral", you are doing it wrong.

(Of course this ignores the fact that corporations are by far the biggest polluters, but when talking about the failures of recycling, it's important to point out recycling is supposed to be the last resort!)


SnipingNinja t1_j51wm9l wrote

Yep, corporations should be regulated first wherever possible, then reduce usage of pollutants where you personally can, reuse what you can, and then finally recycle what's left.


NamelessTacoShop t1_j51uny2 wrote

I don't think plastic recycling was ever as good as it was made out to be, but was hyped up by the oil/plastic industries.


jawknee530i t1_j53549m wrote

A plastics industry think tank literally created the recycle ratings symbol. It was a crock of shit from the start.


Nerdenator t1_j52uxfq wrote

Paper and metal are pretty recyclable.

Plastic isn't, but it's the darling of consumer products.


dungone t1_j547wln wrote

It's the darling of the oil industry.


Nerdenator t1_j5561pn wrote

Ah, but they supply a demand.

Not that they don’t lie to keep that demand up, but consumers fundamentally like plastics.


dungone t1_j55aqfj wrote

Consumers don't give a shit about plastics. What the oil companies do is go around to other companies and twist their arm about switching whatever else they used to use over to plastic. Consumers don't have a say in the matter.


benchpressyourfeels t1_j56610s wrote

What? Plastic is cheap. Nobody is twisting arms. It’s cheap, light, and allows manufacturers to make more margin on the same selling price. That’s pretty much all there is to it. The oil industry isn’t meeting with Kraft Heinz to make sure they keep packing their ketchup in plastic bottles.


dungone t1_j569tj4 wrote

It's always capital investment in brand new manufacturing equipment. You're basically saying, "hey, why not build a brand new factory? Why not build a brand new bottling plant? Totally cheaps!" The ROI is never instant and plastics have to compete against everything else the company could invest in such as new IT systems and other things that could be worth more. You're also talking having to build new facilities to produce the plastic itself. And you're talking about a material that can affect the taste of food, lower the quality of the product, and lower the value by hurting the longevity and repairability. Seriously - plastics are often replacing reusable products that are actually cheaper than all the plastic that is needed to replace them. Shopping bags are a perfect example of this. The actual economics of it aren't as compelling as you've been led to believe. And you've also got the fact that plastics are a waste byproduct of oil refining and oil companies have a strong incentive to push plastics dependency as a hedge against energy market fluctuations.

So it's far seedier than you believe. There are tax breaks, lobbying, kickbacks, predatory pricing, and all kinds of other perverse incentives to push adoption over the finish line. And they 100% rely on the recycling scam to avoid regulations that would have them pay the costs of the environmental damage they cause.

So you have the classic plastics argument that plastic bottles are cheaper to transport because of the high price of oil. But that doesn't factor in that glass is much cheaper to reuse and recycle, bottling plants don't have to be massive centralized affairs, electric vehicles have a lower lifetime operating cost, etc. Instead, oil companies want to sell you plastics as a sort of rebate system for the jacked up gas prices they're charging. Win-win for them.


Darnocpdx t1_j53b3l6 wrote

Those of us paying attention have known plastic recycling has been a joke for decades.

Guaranteed you'll find articles on it in the archives of your local papers and zines from 20-30 years ago.


11fingerfreak t1_j51ixlr wrote

So, basically, the only purpose of recycling is to provide recycling companies with income. Recycling was never intended to do anything except make consumers responsible for a mess that nobody can actually fix while distracting the world from the companies that are creating the mess.

Funny that the plastics companies are… wait for it… also the same companies that pump the oil and natural gas out of the ground or are so closely related to them the separation is largely a technical matter. Same companies that intentionally filled the air with greenhouse gasses. Same companies that fought tooth and nail to keep lead in toys, paint, and gasoline.

I see a pattern…


designer_of_drugs t1_j52lyhq wrote

Lead does make better paint. Worse babies, but better paint.

Kind of a toss up if you ask me.


empirebuilder1 t1_j53wdca wrote

Same issue with asbestos. Shit's an engineering wonder material, amazing thermal insulation properties, structurally and chemically stable. Just that teeny tiny minor issue of anyone working with it tends to end up with major lung damage.


Dubslack t1_j52saib wrote

Well, plastic is a petroleum product, so that part isn't all that crazy.


ekkidee t1_j511zjl wrote

The entire supply chain packaging is due for redesign. It's appalling the amount of waste packaging that goes into the simplest of shipments. Plastic in all forms is very convenient and reliable, but with single use is very wasteful and unsustainable. I absolutely fucking hate plastic grocery bags for so many reasons, yet billions are made (and wasted) every year. Political leaders refuse to step up and are cowed by the loudest of constituencies.

In DC steps were taken to charge consumers 5c or 10c for plastic bags at checkout, and the howls of people who swore they'd never pay and take their business to nearby Maryland were deafening.


dhc710 t1_j523ky9 wrote

The Governor in NJ just banned plastic bags, which I'm thrilled about.

Unfortunately, he didn't take the extra step to mandate paper bags, likely because they're more expensive to make and stores didn't want to foot the bill.

So the effects were:

  • No one remembered to bring reusable bags
  • All the shopping baskets were stolen
  • Reusable plastic/polyester/whatever bags were made available for sale cheap
  • Everyone just buys them at checkout and likely throws them away after they've accumulated too many

It's a shitshow.


milkfiend t1_j52cnh7 wrote

I genuinely don't understand why this is hard. I haven't used a store bag at the grocery store in years.

I bought a bunch to start, put two in every bag I use regularly, then the rest in our car. We always have enough bags. Why does everyone else seem to have a problem with this?


NoodlerFrom20XX t1_j52lk33 wrote

Bags were banned in Washington but stores just use the fake plastic that is supposedly better.


ekkidee t1_j52gvwg wrote

>So the effects were:
>No one remembered to bring reusable bagsAll the shopping baskets were stolenReusable plastic/polyester/whatever bags were made available for sale cheapEveryone just buys them at checkout and likely throws them away after they've accumulated too many

That is awesome about the Gov, but my sister lives in N NJ and I can totally see this happening. When I visit I go to Bottle King there in Bloomfield and they insist on at purchasing at least 4 six-packs before you can grab a box from their wall of boxes.


SIGMA920 t1_j52c448 wrote

> So the effects were: - No one remembered to bring reusable bags - All the shopping baskets were stolen - Reusable plastic/polyester/whatever bags were made available for sale cheap - Everyone just buys them at checkout and likely throws them away after they've accumulated too many

The biggest issue with that is even when you do bring your own bag in, you sometimes still have to get an extra bag anyway because you didn't bring enough bags.

It'd be cheaper and better for everyone if they would just eliminate the waste at the manufacturer, shipping, and retail level. There's no need to put plastic air bags in a cardboard box with something that isn't fragile or is going to matter if it moves around short of there being complete destruction.


RowLow8834 t1_j53y434 wrote

I'm currently working in a stock room of a retail store; while in school, my job creates so much waste there are about five layers of plastic for every single piece of merchandise, not including the packaging on the product. I brought it up with some coworkers they agreed it seemed outrageous, but they didn't notice it till I said it. We as a culture have become too desensitized to the plastic waste, and I think nothing will change, at least anytime soon.


bad13wolf t1_j50xc2y wrote

Hasn't this been the case forever? Like the whole recycling thing is a pricy illusion because the company's responsible for doing the recycling don't see the financial benefit.

I mean I know for a fact all of our Electronics end up in a landfill in the middle of Africa. Don't think it's too surprising that other trash ends up in other places it's not supposed to be either.


Aerotank2099 t1_j52wgn6 wrote

You are incorrect about electronics. Some of the smaller plastic pieces probably follow the same pattern as the story here, but there is a lot of value in electronics: precious metals, copper, aluminum, steel. There is a whole industry of electronics recyclers who disassemble them and sell the valuable parts and pieces. There is some waste for sure, but it is definitely not all and likely not even most.


bad13wolf t1_j52x07w wrote

It is now but the massive pile of electronics I've seen them make incredible shit with. It's definitely a thing and I wouldn't be surprised if it still is on some level.


Rad_Dad6969 t1_j514fee wrote

We need to ban plastic packaging or at least limit it heavily. I used to work for a big box store and the amount we used to go through on a daily basis is unreal. And then each product we pulled out of plastic packaging to ship had more plastic packaging for the customer to pull off when they get it home.


Nerdenator t1_j52v1ux wrote

Imagine how much a hospital goes through.


chalbersma t1_j552vqb wrote

Honestly, given the nature of plastics, that's the one place that should be able to use as much of it as it can.


monkeyheadyou t1_j52ne6p wrote

Recycling has always been a scam to shift responsibility from corporation onto consumer.


Numismatists t1_j51gywt wrote

It's called "Green Energy" in the West.

Trash incineration keeps the landfills from filling up by placing it in the atmosphere for us all to enjoy!

A little Climate Forcing never killed anyone! It was the Diurnal Temperature Range all-allong!


ekkidee t1_j510uze wrote

Pretty sad and pathetic. We cannot accept their people but they can take our trash.


somethingsilly010 t1_j519tws wrote

Wow, you mean huge corporations have been lying to us? That's crazy. Anyways unless we are gonna drag the people authorizing these decisions into the streets and throw them into stockades I really don't care.

Remember it's people that make corporate decisions. Not robots, not gods, not devils, but people. People that can and should be held accountable for what they do to the rest of us.


michaelorth t1_j520ctn wrote

Along with the Washington Post's Keurig cups.


tenderooskies t1_j532p0h wrote

recycling is such a con- need full scale regulation and govt investment. regulation = no more single use plastics, all other plastics must be 100% recyclable, phase in all composts. this is not as hard as it seems but OIL


cerebraldormancy t1_j53alxp wrote

Companies like Amazon need to be accountable for either reduction in waste or the recycling of all packaging. Their practices and packaging show zero effort towards environmental consciousness.


destraight t1_j51mvsb wrote

I only covered my pallets with 1 layer of plastic wrap. My Amazon boss tells me I only have to cover my pallet. I do not have to layer it


Plantedbythewaters t1_j54gmqh wrote

Ya it’s cheaper and we don’t have to see it… they give no shit trust me it’s marketing….


Oak_Redstart t1_j54hqg2 wrote

For some reason people here really want to stop that 5% of plastics that are recycled


coweatyou t1_j56j40d wrote

Man, this comment section bears no resemblance to the nuance of the actual story.


a2jeeper t1_j5bwu65 wrote

The crazy thing for me seeing the flint water crisis was how many people donated plastic water bottles. Yes, people have to drink. But donate in something reusable, 1 gallon jugs you can refill, 5 gallon, etc. Not single use water bottles that people use literally to take showers, 20 or more at a time. That was just borrowing from the future to solve a short term need and make some people rich on poor people’s suffering. It was a nice thought, but famous people wanting publicity for donating a million for those costco water bottles was so short sighted. Glad we got through at least the worst of it, but the landfills and debt we caused for future generations for something like this…. maybe we managed to ship it off to another country or make another ski hill but some time sooner or later stuff like that is going to come back around on us or our kids.


omganesh t1_j50vpac wrote

Plastic can't be recycled. It can only be buried in landfills. Please don't put plastic in the recycling bin, it contaminates the batch.

The solution is to carbon tax plastic manufacturing. They'll switch to more sustainable packaging if it's too expensive to profit off of making landfill.


Needabackiotomy t1_j51fcsm wrote

I mean I’m all for hating on plastic. But it can definitely be recycled…


linuxlib t1_j51xqsx wrote

The evidence says otherwise. And as the article says, we've been lied to.


Needabackiotomy t1_j51ywj9 wrote

I have many things in my house made from recycled plastic. I didn’t say that it’s effective or efficient. I said it can be recycled. Again fuck plastic but, it CAN be recycled.


linuxlib t1_j5z0cbq wrote

From the article I cited:

>Plastic recycling does not work and will never work.

I understand the point you are making. But all I needed to do was say, "For all practical purposes, the evidence says otherwise."

Or perhaps I should have said, "The evidence says otherwise, but with statistically insignificant exceptions."

I think you are quibbling over a difference which is indistinguishable from zero.


Needabackiotomy t1_j5z2cpt wrote

Man, responding 6 days later….just eating you up inside huh? Quibbling lol


SIGMA920 t1_j52cf1a wrote

Not bothering to /= not possible. Frankly I'm surprised that the big companies aren't looking to use as much recycled plastic in the first place when it can be, it'd be cheaper than what they're doing now.


Dubslack t1_j52thcb wrote

It's not cheaper, that's why they don't.


SIGMA920 t1_j55plsl wrote

It would when you consider just how much plastic wrappings could is lying available to be recycled that could be and how much plastic could be reused with no problems.


Far_Confusion_2178 t1_j51g4wo wrote

Wait what? I have a recycling bin that definitely says plastic bottles are ok


jazekers t1_j51k1q4 wrote

I imagine this advice is very dependent on where you live.


Tearakan t1_j51cxod wrote

Tax is far too lax. We need to ban plastic packaging entirely. And eventually completely ban plastic production completely.


goldfaux t1_j522dtr wrote

Your heart is in the right place, but taxes just end up going to the consumer. Your "whatever" plastic you buy will now be even more expensive to purchase. Companies will end up skirting the tax, but still charge you more saying they are now taxed on it.


Tearakan t1_j523m37 wrote

I'm literally arguing against taxing it. And in favor of outright bans.


coweatyou t1_j56hgif wrote

30% of plastic bottles in the US are recycled.


DogsAreOurFriends t1_j51ll6k wrote

That is 100% incorrect.


DogsAreOurFriends t1_j51zxeu wrote

You should actually read the articles you use as citations.

It lays out problems with plastic recycling, but nowhere does it say that it is impossible.


linuxlib t1_j5yzsgy wrote

From the article I cited:

>Plastic recycling does not work and will never work.

I understand the point you are making. But all I needed to do was say, "For all practical purposes, that is 100% correct."

Or perhaps I should have said, "That is 99.99999999% correct."

I think you are quibbling over a difference which is indistinguishable from zero.


DogsAreOurFriends t1_j5zhbb1 wrote

This is complete bullshit. A quick google search will find many companies that… gasp… recycle plastic.