Plastics Make It Possible

Americans export 68,000 shipping containers of recyclables annually—mostly to developing nations.

China recently closed its borders to shipments while others take on far more than they can process. In Indonesia and Vietnam, plastics pour in so abundantly that the countries must inadequately dispose of their own waste to process America’s unwanted recyclables.

A global network of sometimes nefarious recycling companies ensure steady shipments, yet only about 9% of American plastics are actually recycled. The rest are dumped or burned, showering developing countries with toxic fumes and waste.

More about America’s recycling crisis is covered in a new series: The United States of Plastic.
The Guardian


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