The complicated truth about plastic recycling. Is it a myth?

How much of our plastic is actually recycled?
Loukia Papadopoulos

The famous three Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) have long been touted as the way forward for a sustainable future. The third R in particular was promoted by the plastic industry as a means to solve all its waste problems.

Worried about all the plastic waste in our landfills and oceans? No worries, just recycle! But is it really that simple?

YouTuber Matt Ferrell explores that question in his video. The truth is that a lot of plastic is simply not recyclable or not recycled and ends up all around the world, even in our water and food as microplastics.

Researchers have found that as of 2015, only 9 percent of the world's plastics have been recycled. That is clearly not enough to save our planet from its ever-growing plastic woes.

So how did this myth of the usefulness of recycling come about? It all started in 1970 when citizens took to the streets on Earth day to protest the increasing pollution problems they were encountering.

That's when the plastic industry came up with the concept of recycling. What happened next, and where are we today? What innovations actually stand a chance of ridding us of our plastic problems? This video answers all these questions and more.

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