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article imageAlmost no recycled plastic bottles get recycled into new bottles

By Karen Graham     Apr 24, 2017 in Environment
We have all seen the label on our plastic bottles of sodas, water or juice, proudly informing us the bottle is recyclable. We are led to believe we are using a recycled product. But this is not true.
The Coca-Cola bottle or water bottle you throw into the recycle bin so it can be used to make more plastic bottles is very seldom used for that purpose. More than likely, it is exported to plastic manufacturers in developing markets overseas to be made into carpets or textiles.
As a matter of fact, according to a scathing report issued by Greenpeace, Coco-Cola only uses about 7.7 percent recyclable plastics in its plastic bottles. Nestlé Waters North America uses 6.0 percent recycled materials.
Greenpeace has conducted the first ever comprehensive survey of plastic usage and policies across the top six global soft drinks brands: Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Suntory, Danone, Dr Pepper Snapple and Nestlé. According to BuzzFeed News, with the exception of Coca-Cola, these companies used a combined average of only 6.6 percent recyclable plastic products in their bottles.
Less than a third of the approximately six billion pounds of plastic bottles used every year on a global scale are recycled. And of that one-third, only 20 percent is recycled into new bottles. The rest is turned into textiles such as clothing, bags, and carpeting.
Eight million tonnes of plastic ends up in the world's oceans annually  the "New Plastics ...
Eight million tonnes of plastic ends up in the world's oceans annually, the "New Plastics Economy" report said
, Hong Kong Cleanup/AFP
Oh, and the other 4 or 5 billion pounds of plastic bottles? They end up in landfills, alleys, and eventually, waterways running to the ocean. And none of the companies surveyed have commitments, targets or timelines to reduce the amount of single-use plastic bottles they use.
The report found out that it is more cost-effective for companies to use new plastic, a direct result of the recent drop in oil prices. After all, we make plastics from petroleum and it's cheaper to start from scratch than use the more costly recycling process.
You might think that using recycled plastics in manufacturing carpets and clothing is a great idea, right? Well, think again. Worn out carpets end up in landfills, while the manufacture of textiles that incorporate recycled plastic into their materials used to make our polyester leisure and sports clothing make those articles nonrecyclable.
Globally, there are about 80 to 100 billion garments made every year, and at today's production levels, more than enough to clothe every man, woman, and child on Earth several times over. While these companies are asking us to recycle, at the same time, They are continuing to make increasingly more new plastics.
The world just celebrated Earth Day, but how many of you marched along with the crowds, holding your plastic bottle of water or soda? Think about it a moment.
More about Recycling, plastic bottles, beverage companies, Petroleum, nonrecyclable materials