22 Feb 2024

New report claims plastics industry knew for decades recycling wasn't viable

From Nine To Noon, 9:05 am on 22 February 2024

 Plastic mountains await recycling, but a new report claims the industry misled the public about recycling as a waste solution. Photo:

A new report has found the majority of plastics can't - and never will - be recycled.

It comes from the US-based Center for Climate Integrity, which also says the world's plastics industry knew for decades that their products were unable to be recycled for technical or economic reasons.

The Center's report, called The Fraud of Plastic Recycling, says industry leaders continued to promote recycling as the best way forward - in 1988 rolling out the familiar "chasing arrows" symbols which has become the globally recognised sign for recycled plastics.

This report comes just weeks after all New Zealand district and local councils moved to standardise recycling - with only plastics 1, 2 and 5 now accepted in kerbside recycling bins.

The report's lead author Davis Allen, joins Kathryn.