Plastics are not recycled in Western countries like we are told that they are. In Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald followed plastic programs to dismal results.
Many of the plastic bag recycling programs collected consumer plastics and then stored them in warehouses for indeterminate amounts of time. When they were asked about it, they said that they would suspend collection programs due to “untenable pressure” on their business models.
Many studies in the U.S. and the U.K. have shown the same thing. Plastic is not recycled. It ends up in poorer countries as litter. This has been the case since China stopped accepting plastic imports from other countries in 2017.
Climate expert Michael Shellenberger says that the best place for your plastic trash is in the trash can, not recycle bins. Landfill and incinerators can handle plastic. So-called recycling programs cannot.
Glass, aluminum, and paper are recycled, but plastic is not. It is a hard habit to break! We have begun putting plastic in the trash in the trash can and it feels strange and it fills up the trash can faster but the data is clear so we’re breaking the habit!