Plastic packaging isn’t really ‘recyclable’ in the US, Greenpeace report says

piles of plastic litter along the banks of a creek
Plastic, Styrofoam, and other trash drain down from storm channels and wash up along the banks of Ballona Creek after the first major rain of the season in Los Angeles, California.  | Photo by: Citizen of the Planet / UCG / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

We’ve known for years that plastic recycling rates are low, but they’ve managed to get even worse. The state of plastic recycling in the US is so abysmal that no plastic packaging can even be considered recyclable, according to a new report published today by environmental group Greenpeace.

Households in the US tossed out 51 million tons of plastic waste in 2021, says the new report. Just 2.4 million tons of that plastic was recycled, or just under 5 percent — compared to 8.7 percent in 2018.

With so little of the waste recycled, no type of plastic packaging used in the US meets an…

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Author: Justine Calma