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Climate warning

Rethinking the Recycling Symbol

Over 90% of plastic in the United States does not get recycled, much of it ending up in landfills. The chasing arrow symbol that many consumers think means a plastic product is recyclable often doesn’t mean that in practice, since most plastics are of little to no economic value. Jennie Romer is Deputy Assistant Administrator for Pollution Prevention at EPA and joins Host Aynsley O’Neill to explain how revising the use of the recycling symbol could reduce consumer confusion. O'NEILL: So, in our everyday lives, we see that iconic triangular arrow label on a lot of products. And I think the first thing I think, and a lot of us think is, oh, good, it's recyclable. But from what I understand, that's not always the case. What do recycling labels actually tell us about a product? And to what extent might that system confuse the average consumer? ROMER: The symbols on the bottom of plastic bottles and containers are called resin ID codes. And they were created to identify the type of plastic resin that the containers are made of. And the resin number is usually surrounded by chasing arrow symbols. And we know that as a recyclable symbol. And sometimes you'll see a solid triangle instead. But the symbol isn't really meant to convey whether something is recyclable, it's just meant to tell you the resin number. And it doesn't necessarily mean that it can be recycled in your community. And so that's why EPA has recently urged to have the chasing arrow symbol decoupled from the resin identification codes, and to really set a very high bar for when something can be marketed as recyclable. So, categorizing plastics by resin identification codes that are coupled with that chasing arrow symbol does not accurately represent the recyclability of plastics, especially number three through seven, because those numbers don't really have end markets that are financially viable to be recycled. And so from a pollution prevention standpoint, and that's the office where I sit at EPA, there's really an opportunity to prevent harm to human health and the environment by making sure that consumers are presented with truthful marketing claims, including claims about recycling, because misleading claims can lead to a lot of that consumer confusion. https://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=23-P13-00028&segmentID=1

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  • We Don't Have Time

    44 w

    Dear johnte ndeto Your climate warning has received over 50 agrees! We have reached out to US Government by email and requested a response. I will keep you updated on any progress! To reach more people and increase the chance of a response, click the Share button above to share the review on your social accounts. For every new member that joins We Don't Have Time from your network, we will plant a tree and attribute it to you! /Adam, We Don't Have Time

    3
    • Saustine Lusanzu

      44 w

      Recycling is what we need to make the environment clean

      5
      • Princess

        44 w

        This will help to prevent harm to human health and the environment by making sure that consumers are presented with truthful marketing claims, including claims about recycling, because misleading claims can lead to a lot of that consumer confusion

        9
        • Rukia Ahmed Abdi

          44 w

          before we eradicate use of plastics,we should first strive to recycle the already existing plastics

          6
          • Ajema Lydiah

            44 w

            Recycling is the best method to end pollution

            7
            • Hilda Wangui

              44 w

              Recycling is the best way to control Plastics to reduce climate crisis

              8
              • Harrison wambui

                44 w

                Very nice

                5
                • Sarah Chabane

                  44 w

                  This should for sure be redesigned if it's confusing people and hindering recycling efforts

                  6
                  • Lucinda Ramsay

                    44 w

                    If it can't be recycled it shouldn't be produced there's no place for plastic items that can't be recycled- anything that is not recyclable should have a levy on it paid by the producer.

                    18
                  • Rashid Kamau

                    44 w

                    Recycling should be embraced for its beneficial to the climate crisis.

                    17
                    • rosebellendiritu

                      44 w

                      @rashid_kamau true,it always reduce the manufacturing of other new plastics..I like still the slogan if they t cant be recycled it shouldn't be manufacturered.

                      7
                      • Elizabeth Gathigia

                        44 w

                        @rashid_kamau I agree it should be embraced for it will help to curb this menace of climate crisis

                        7
                      Welcome, let's solve the climate crisis together
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