Corporate plastic polluters love talking about recycling. That goes for both the petrochemical and fossil fuel industries, as well as the consumer goods and retail sectors. As long as the public views recycling as the primary solution to the plastic pollution crisis, these companies can continue producing endless quantities of single-use plastics.

For decades, we have all been told that if we toss our plastic packaging into the blue bin a truck will come take it away and turn it into a new product. This story was created by corporations so they could continue churning out cheap single-use plastics. The reality is that less than 10 percent of the plastic ever created has actually been recycled, and that which is recycled gets downcycled, losing its value over time. For the rare plastic item that does get recycled, it is just a brief stopover between its fracking origins and its inevitable end in a landfill, incinerator or sea turtle’s stomach.

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