Recycling shouldn’t be complicated, but unfortunately it is. Single stream recycling has increased the number of people participating in recycling and the volume of material coming in through the front door of recycling facilities, but, many would argue, that the overall quality of recovered commodities has been compromised as a result. Whether it’s wish-cyclers (people who throw items in the recycling when they’re not sure if it’s actually recyclable), or people who just down right don’t care, the resource-preserving activity is currently struggling to be economical.
Recycling statistics show that Americans go through 2.5 million plastic water bottles every hour. According to the National Geographic, an amazing 91 percent of plastic isn’t recycled at all. We hope, at the very least that our plastic is ending its life in a predestined location like landfills/incinerators, but, in fact, millions of tons of it pollute our oceans and waterways every year. These facts listed in the graphic below aren’t intended to discourage you, but rather educate you going forward to become a better reducer, re-user, and recycler.