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Articles on Plastic waste

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Plastic trash accumulates in trees and shrubs along the Los Angeles River. Citizen of the Planet/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

If plastic comes from oil and gas, which come originally from plants, why isn’t it biodegradable?

Plastic is made from oil and natural gas, which started out as fossilized plant and animal material. But buried deep underground for millions of years, those materials changed in important ways.
When in doubt, throw it out – but not in the recycling bin. Basak Gurbuz Derman/Moment via Getty Images

What is wishcycling? Two waste experts explain

Tossing something into your recycling bin that can’t be processed does more harm than good.
Plastic debris on a beach on Lanai, a sparsely populated Hawaiian island. Matthew Koller

Plastic trash in the ocean is a global problem, and the US is the top source – a new report urges action

An estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic waste enters the ocean each year – equivalent to dumping in a garbage truckload of it every minute. A new report calls on the US to help stem the deluge.
Packaging for consumer products represents a large share of U.S. solid waste, and barely half of it is recycled. iStock via Getty Images

Packaging generates a lot of waste – now Maine and Oregon want manufacturers to foot the bill for getting rid of it

Maine and Oregon have enacted laws that require makers of consumer product packaging to pay for recycling or disposing of it. Will other states follow?

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