It’s a startling statistic: less than 10% of plastic is actually recycled. The truth hurts, doesn’t it? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States generated 390,000 tons of plastic in 1960, but by 2018, that number increased to more than 35.6 million! And the majority of that plastic ends up in landfills… Ouch!
Plastic recycling is complicated. First, there must be an easy way to process the material into something else. Second, there must be a market that wants to buy it. According to the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, something is recyclable “if it can be collected, sorted, reprocessed and ultimately reused in manufacturing or making another item.”
To do that, you first need to understand which plastics can be recycled. We’ve all seen those arrows chasing each other around the triangle. This common symbol can be misleading and does NOT guarantee that a product is recyclable. Here is what you need to know…