“Plastics are commonly tossed into mixed-recycling bins to be conveniently collected and — we incorrectly assume — remade anew. The reality is that we’re “wishcycling.” In fact, less than 10 per cent of plastics are recycled.
Virgin plastics are cheaper to produce than recycled products, undermining the viability of the recycling sector. For example, in 2019, California’s largest recycling plant closed, laying off 750 employees, because of increased business costs and falling prices for recycled materials.
The abundance of disposable plastic has led to waste colonialism — the dumping of large quantities of mixed-plastic waste in developing countries, most commonly Southeast Asia.”