How America Can Keep 'Recyclable' Plastic Containers Out Of Landfills

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 1:09pm
Updated: Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 3:43pm

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Recycling plant
Heather van Blokland/KJZZ
Recycling plant.

A new report finds your yogurt cup or hummus container that you throw in the blue bin is probably not being recycled.

Greenpeace surveyed all 367 recycling facilities in the U.S. to find out what types of plastic are being reused and what types are just going on to the landfill.

Researchers found a lot of what we think we’re recycling shouldn’t be labeled as "recyclable" at all. While products labeled with a number 1 or 2 recycling label are usually accepted at plants, lots of others with different numbered labels are not.

This, of course, all comes as China has upended the world recycling market by cutting back how much plastic they’ll take and then recycle.

Mark Bernstein is chair of the Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Service at Arizona State University. He told The Show that while this study seems dire, the findings present an opportunity for innovation.

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