California wants to clear up the mystery about recyclable plastic. The recycling symbol—those three arrows stamped on countless plastics—doesn't mean most people think they are, and the California bill wants to change it.
The ubiquitous "chasing" does not mean that the arrow symbol originally appeared on all plastics. It was designed by a college student for a competition in the early 1970s to symbolize paper recycling. The company that sponsored the contest made the code available to the public. Confusion over tracer stocks began in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when oil and plastics companies called on governments to impose a resin identification code — including stock — on all plastics, even if they don't easily recycle.
While all plastics are technically recyclable, only a small percentage actually exist. Only about 9 percent of all plastics recycled in the United States are recycled each year, and about 9 percent of all plastics ever produced are recycled. The rest is burned or most likely buried or scattered as rubbish.
Although many plastics are a problem for recyclers, plastic bags are particularly harmful. Even though most fringe programs don't accept plastic bags, people still throw them in the trash because they think they're recyclable because they have the symbol of the chase arrow. Ben Allen proposes a bill now on the governor's table. After bringing his newspaper each morning, Allen threw the plastic bag inside into his own recycling bin. "I thought it was recyclable - but in fact I was making it worse while trying to do the right thing," Allen told CalMatters.Requires more if not plastic recycling Allen's proposal, better known as Bill 343 of the Senate, CalRecycle, the state recycling agency, to collect information on the types of plastic most commonly recycled in the state, only those that are recycled an average of 75%. Recycled and not containing proprietary compounds like PFAS, it will be allowed to keep track of the stock symbol. All other items are stamped with a solid triangle around the resin identification symbol.
In practice, this means that the plastics labeled as 1 or 2 - PETE and HDPE - are most likely denoted by a tracking arrow symbol, the rest take a solid triangle, if other plastics recycling starts to run, they can recover their beams. Currently, only a few California municipalities accept anything beyond #1 and #2 for limited recycling.
Plastics and Packaging Industries dee opposes the bill, saying it would create a number of regulations around the world. And the country leads to more waste to landfill. The California bill is the latest effort to rebuild recycling systems, which have been struggling since China stopped importing recycled plastics. Both Maine and Oregon recently passed laws that treat packaging manufacturers based on the amount of plastic they produce.
Origin of Industry
Plastic recycling was primarily practiced by oil and gas companies. As a solution to the growing concern about plastic waste in the 1970s and 1980s, research by NPR and PBS's Frontline represented a decades-long campaign to persuade the public to recover from plastic sustainability problems. Larry Thomas, former president of the Plastics Industry Association, told NPR, "It felt like the plastics industry was under attack — we have to do what we have to do to get rid of the heat because we want to keep making plastic products."
Read more Plastic was found in the faeces of eight people from eight different countries. This plan seems to have been working for years. Recycling programs spread across the country, and plastic production increased by more than 300 million tons annually.
However, in the past few years, the tide has started to turn again. Plastic pollution has filled the oceans, and consumers are increasingly concerned about the spread of microplastics into the environment. As scientists have developed more sophisticated methods for detecting microplastics, they have detected them in a wide variety of warning points, from mountains to infants and even human faeces.
This new bill is unlikely to slow the exponential growth of plastics, but it may clear up some confusion and lead to a simpler recycling process. "Americans find recycling more puzzling than making IKEA furniture, taxing, playing with inventory, or understanding their wives," Allen told CalMatters. p>
California bill states that a recycling symbol cannot appear on non-recyclable items
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