Plastic recycling remains a ‘myth’: Greenpeace study

By Issam Ahmed
October 24, 2022
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Plastic recycling rates are declining even as production shoots up, according to a Greenpeace U.S. report.” Titled “Circular Claims Fall Flat Again,” the study found that of 51 million tons of plastic waste generated by US households in 2021, only 2.4 million tons were recycled, or around five percent. After peaking in 2014 at 10 percent, the trend has been decreasing, especially since China stopped accepting the West’s plastic waste in 2018. …According to Greenpeace U.S.’s survey, only two types of plastic are widely accepted at the nation’s 375 material recovery facilities. The first is polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is commonly used in water and soda bottles; and the second is high density polyethylene (HDPE), seen in milk jugs, shampoo bottles and cleaning product containers. …The report found that PET and HDPE products had actual reprocessing rates of 20.9 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively—both down slightly from Greenpeace U.S.’s last survey in 2020.

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