Only 5% of plastic went down to be recycled in 2021 in the U.S

According to the latest Greenpeace research, plastic is no longer being processed like it used to back in 2014. Despite the generation rate going up, the recycling rate keeps falling.

The research showed that out of 51 million tons of plastic being thrown away only in the U.S, just 5% of it, which means 2.4 million tons was collected for reuse. The plastic recycling campaign was at its peak 8 years back, but since then the graph is declining, and after China discontinued accepting West's waste, the trend started to fall stronger than ever.

On the other hand, with more and more petrochemical industries being set up, companies are now opting for unprocessed plastic, which according to them is cheaper to afford.

According to Lisa Ramsden, a campaigner at Greenpeace, industrial giants keep pushing for reusing plastic. She labeled Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and even Nestle as lawbreaking giants.

The study further gave an insight that recycling industries only use 2 kinds of plastic. These kinds may include polyethylene terephthalate, used for mineral water and beverages while the other one is high-density polyethylene, used as shampoo containers or dairy bottles. Despite the material having recyclable properties, the thrown-away bottles are not being reused.

While comparing the results from the data recorded two years back in 2020, both high-density plastic and polyethylene terephthalate holders used to be reused at a rate of 10.3% and 20.9%.

While other plastic products falling under type 3 and beyond were reused at a rate of not more than 5%, one of the reasons for such negligence towards this type is due to the lack of industries that process it.

The study also highlighted reasons why this whole reusing disposed plastic theory can’t be put to work. According to the sources, the amount in which it is thrown away makes it difficult to collect, and even if it is collected, then sorting tons of plastic waste becomes extremely time-consuming. Not only this but laborers working in such facilities face toxic waste which may cause health hazards for them. And lastly, manufacturing new plastic is cheaper than using the old one.

Though the rate is declining, many countries around the world are taking initiatives to minimize plastic waste. Austria has set its goal to reprocess twenty-five percent of its waste in the next three years while India banned the use of plastic products meant for one-time use.

Read next: Yelp’s Report Shows Inflation Becoming a Greater Concern
Previous Post Next Post