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Finally: Simplified Recycling Labels Are on Their Way

The current system for identifying what you can recycle is a total mess. This simple four-label alternative, coming this fall, might be the solution.

So you bought a coffee in a disposable cup (it happens) and you want to recycle it. What do you do? Who the hell knows. The fact that the plastic lid has a recycling symbol on it doesn't necessarly mean you can, in fact, recycle it. It depends on what kind of plastic it is, indicated by that tiny, mysterious number printed inside the recycling logo, and where you live. Some kinds of plastic are recyled almost everywhere; some, like Styrofoam, are rarely ever recycled. Plastics without a number, like utensils, can't be recycled at all. It's confusing.

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