7 Things You Didn’t Know About Plastic (and Recycling)

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Plastic (and Recycling)
Fonte: Blogue National Geographic
For many, environmentalism begins with the recycling symbol and ends at the recycling bin. The simple act of throwing something away into a large box marked with a recycling sign is enough to make some of us feel like we’ve done our part.

It’s like eating only half of a chocolate chip cookie– we indulge, but not that much. Similarly, our faith in the magic of the recycling bin makes purchasing and using plastic products a little more guilt-free.

But recycling is a lot more complicated, and the process of recycling plastics is significantly less transparent than the much-Googled recipe for baking cookies.

It’s a system dictated by market demand, price determinations, local regulations, the success of which is contingent upon everyone, from the product-designer, to the trash-thrower, to the waste collector, to the recycling factory worker.

We consumers play a much more critical role than we might imagine– depending on how we use our products and in what shape we throw them away, determines their value and quality post-use. Think about it. Recycled goods have to compete with new products in the market; who wants to buy something of lower quality?

I’ve spent the last five months talking to various experts in Taiwan, one of the world’s innovators in recycling systems AND major producers of plastics, to put together this list. My hope is to bring more transparency to a system inseparable from our very existence, but whose visibility often starts and stops at the trash can.

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