This week on the Carolina Snowflakes Podcast we take a look at the current state of recycling in the U.S. and critically examine what’s working and what isn’t. What’s the point of dropping recyclables in the blue bin if they’re not actually being recycled?
Since the 1990s there’s been a massive push through the use of marketing and propaganda to get Americans on board with sorting out our recyclables from household trash. Remember all those “save the Earth” commercials with seagulls stuck in plastic wrap and turtles choking on bottle caps? They were brilliant sources of media and they worked to motivate! Many of us do in fact take the time to recycle and that’s a plus. Recycling is a good thing and it happens to feel good too.
After all, we’re doing our part to protect the environment, right?
The short answer is yes, but also no. We as the end consumers may be doing our part, but the folks responsible for all that marketing, who coincidentally are also responsible for creating much of the problem in the first place, aren’t doing their part. Guess what else? They never really intended to do their part at all despite spending millions of dollars in advertising to make us believe otherwise. That’s right, we were lied to.
So join us as we discuss what lies were told and what materials in the U.S. are actually being recycled. Spoiler alert: it might not be what you think.
Sullivan, Laura. September 11, 2020. “How Big Oil Misled the Public into Believing Plastic Would be Recycled”. NPR: Morning Edition. https://www.npr.org/2020/09/11/897692090/how-big-oil-misled-the-public-into-believing-plastic-would-be-recycled