September 24, 2020 Read More →

Big Oil spent decades falsely claiming plastics easily recyclable

The Energy Mix:

Amidst revelations that Big Oil has spent decades promoting an idea it knows to be false—that plastics can be easily recycled—the industry is once more doubling down on the perceived value of “the third R” and ignoring forecasts of decline as it prepares to ramp up plastics production.

“The industry’s awareness that recycling wouldn’t keep plastic out of landfills and the environment dates to the program’s earliest days,” writes National Public Radio, in a report on an in-depth investigation it conducted in partnership with Frontline. As far back as 1974, industry insiders were confessing “serious doubt” that plastics recycling could ever be economically viable.

“We’re seeing a deterioration of the plastics market right before our eyes,” said Tom Sanzillo, finance director for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. To date, 127 of 193 countries “have some sort of rules or regulations that limit plastic use,” notes DeSmog, citing a December 2018 United Nations report.

[Staff Report]


More: Systematic Disinformation Promoted Recycling, Maintained Plastics Status Quo

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