What's up with the new recycling labels?

Starting to come across these on plastic container LABELS. Nothing on the plastic itself like the old ones. Directs you to this site: how2recycle.info. It says “plastic” but no number. Don’t need a number anymore? I know most of it goes to the landfill or ocean anyway I guess.

Not sure if this is exactly what you are talking about. But I think a large amount of fibbing has been going on about what exactly gets recycled and what, as you say, ends up in the Ocean or landfill.

Also, let’s not forget that the US used to export a lot of stuff for “recycling” to China. A couple of years ago they stopped wanting it. So now a lot of what might have been sent there has no place to go but a domestic landfill, until/unless another country is found to dump things into.

The fact is, many pieces of plastic, including those with recyclable icons on them, are not recycled in the U.S. And when China, or other developing nations get a hold of them, they simply end up in a landfill, or in a storage facility somewhere, never recycled.

Yeah, it has been a lie for a long time.

The how2recycle.info site explains that the new label replaces the digit with four different icons to express the “recyclability” of the product. They mean “widely recycled” (just recycle it), “limited recycling” (maybe recyclable; check locally), “not recycled”, and “store dropoff”. This seems to me to be a better system than the single digit numbers, which are meaningless to the vast majority of people, and in fact many people believe that the mere existence of the recycling arrows symbol means that the item is recyclable, regardless of the digit inside them.

The new labels also have a “how to prep” field, which explains whether you should empty, rinse, remove parts (cap, pump, etc) before recycling, which also seems useful.

I get that. My recycling place has what # goes in each bin. I used to actually try to sort it correctly. Sounds like it doesn’t really matter.

How does the recycling wind up in the ocean instead of the landfill?

As it happens, the new issue of Consumer Reports that I just got today has an article on plastic recycling. I haven’t read it all yet, but they say that in the US, about 9% of plastic is recycled, 16% is incinerated, and 75% is landfilled.

That leaves 0% for the ocean. Awesome!

I’m not watching a video of unknown origin. Do you have an actual cite we can read?