Patchwork Regulations Lead to Dismal Returns on Plastics Recycling in the U.S.

(Photo credit: Venkat2336, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

Look in the garbage in any city or town, and chances are, plastics make up a big part of what is in the waste. Some of that is due to people throwing away recyclable items. Other times it’s because the plastic can’t be reused or because the area doesn’t have a facility that can recycle it. Why does this vary from town to town?

News Director Shannon Young spoke with plastics expert Kate O’Neill about this question and others. O’Neill is a Professor in Global Environmental Governance and Global Waste in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley.


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