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You are here News Environment They lied’: plastics producers deceived public about recycling, report reveals

They lied’: plastics producers deceived public about recycling, report reveals

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Plastic producers deceived us

Plastic producers have known for more than 30 years that recycling is not an economically or technically feasible plastic waste management solution. That has not stopped them from promoting it, according to a new report.

“The companies lied,” said Richard Wiles, president of fossil-fuel accountability advocacy group the Center for Climate Integrity (CCI), which published the report. “It’s time to hold them accountable for the damage they’ve caused.”

Plastic, which is made from oil and gas, is notoriously difficult to recycle. Doing so requires meticulous sorting, since most of the thousands of chemically distinct varieties of plastic cannot be recycled together. That renders an already pricey process even more expensive. Another challenge: the material degrades each time it is reused, meaning it can generally only be reused once or twice.

The industry has known for decades about these existential challenges, but obscured that information in its marketing campaigns, the report shows.

The research draws on previous investigations as well as newly revealed internal documents illustrating the extent of this decades-long campaign.

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