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Recycling Plastic Is Surprisingly Complex. Here’s What Happens After the Bin.

Follow this conveyor belt of facts to find out what happens to your plastic after the bin.

A lot of us have good intentions. When we’re provided the option, we toss what we think of as recyclable trash into a blue bin, and assume our job is over: Our waste will be recycled, and we’ve done our part. But, as we are about to learn, this isn’t always true. All plastic is not created equal. Some plastic, like the eternally reusable PET (also called PETE, and when recycled, rPET) (#1) is inherently reusable—it can be melted down and reused again and again without loss of function. Other plastics, like PVC (#3) are too toxic to warrant much recycling.


Follow this conveyor belt of facts to find out what happens to your plastic after the bin, and how you can become a more conscious consumer.

Infographics
via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

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Culture

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