California aims to ban recycling symbols on things that are not recyclable

Over the past year, a number of environmental organizations have filed lawsuits aimed at tackling misleading claims of recyclability by l...


Over the past year, a number of environmental organizations have filed lawsuits aimed at tackling misleading claims of recyclability by large companies. Environmental groups have also criticized plans by the oil and gas industry to expand its production of petrochemicals, which are the main building blocks of plastic, as the process is highly polluting and creates new demand for fossil fuels.

The recycling symbol “subconsciously tells people who shop, ‘You are eco-friendly,'” said Heidi Sanborn, executive director of the National Stewardship Action Council, which encourages companies to take greater responsibility for recycling. their products.

“No one should be able to lie to the public,” she said.

In California, the bill garnered support from a coalition of environmental groups, local governments, waste haulers and recyclers. Recycling companies say the move will help them reduce non-recyclable waste thrown into recycling bins that must be transported, sorted and sent to landfill.

Pete Keller, vice president of recycling and sustainability at Republic Services, one of the nation’s largest waste and recycling companies, said in an interview that more than a fifth of the materials his company processes at l nationwide are non-recyclable waste. This means that even at its best, Republic is only operating at 80% efficiency, dealing with materials it shouldn’t be dealing with, he said.

Some of the most common forms of non-recyclable waste disposal operations at Republic’s 70 facilities across the United States, which handle six million tonnes of curbside recycling per year: snack bags, plastic wrap, waste bags, groceries and packaging materials. Plastic bags, in particular, cannot be recycled in most curbside recycling programs and noticeably clogs recycling machines.

“There are a lot of products on the market today that have hunting arrows that shouldn’t,” Mr. Keller said. “There aren’t really any real end markets, or any real way to recover and ultimately recycle these materials through curbside recycling programs. “

The plastics and packaging industry opposed the bill, saying it would create more confusion for consumers, not less. Industry memo circulated among California lawmakers urges them to oppose the bill unless it is amended, arguing it “would create a new definition of recyclability with unworkable criteria for complex products and single-use packaging “.

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Newsrust - US Top News: California aims to ban recycling symbols on things that are not recyclable
California aims to ban recycling symbols on things that are not recyclable
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Newsrust - US Top News
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