GOOD
Magda Ehlers

When you put your plastic cup into the recycling bin, you probably think it's headed to a nearby facility where it'll be broken down and then turned into another cup which you will eventually put into the recycling bin. But the process of recycling isn't as clean as we thought. Only 9.1% of plastics in the U.S. are recycled, and our recycling infrastructure is overwhelmed by that amount. Some recyclable plastic is sent to our landfills, while other recyclable plastic – one million tons, to be exact – are sent overseas. Yes, we're exporting trash.

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The Planet
via psyberartist / flickr and Kārlis Dambrāns / flickr

Americans throw away enough glass every week to fill a 1,350-foot building. Glass takes up to a million years to completely decompose in a landfill, but it's easy to recycle, so there's no reason we should ever have to make anymore glass. We already have enough.

But, sadly, that's not how the world works.

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Innovators

Guinness beer just announced they’re getting rid of all their plastic packaging.

It will remove the equivalent of 40 million plastic bottles.

Photo by Gareth Fuller - WPA Pool/Getty Images

We’ve got bad news if you’re plastic, but good news if you’re the environment. More and more companies are ditching single-use plastic in favor of, you know, not destroying the planet we live on. Guinness is the latest company to ditch plastic in favor of a more sustainable alternative. Looks like green beer isn’t just for St. Patrick’s Day!

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Articles

New Seaweed-Based Material Could Replace Plastic Packaging

The project is one of four finalists for the 2016 Lexus Design Award.

Plastic is ubiquitous in packaging for food, toys, and every type of product in between. And even with significant recycling efforts, plastic cannot—unlike aluminum and glass—be recycled over and over again. Plastic is also notorious for its resistance to decomposition, with estimates placing its life cycle somewhere between 500 and 1,000 years.

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Articles