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Study finds Americans are only recycling 5% of their plastic waste

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J-P Mauro - published on 05/09/22 - updated on 05/09/22

Environmental activists see the push for consumer recycling as a failed project, and are calling for corporate and government policies "that reduce the production, usage, and disposal of plastics.”

A recently released study from the U.S. Department of Energy is bringing attention to the low rates of recycling in the country. The report found that only 5% of plastic waste was recycled in 2019, with 86% landfilled and the remaining 9% incinerated to generate electricity. 

According to The Guardian, the report cited several factors for the decline of recycling, including population growth, low recycling rates, and consumer preference for single-use plastics. The study also notes that the impact of plastic waste has been compounded by China banning U.S. plastic waste imports in 2017. 

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