We can’t send plastic to China anymore. What happens to our recyclables now?

The Washington Post
Nov. 25, 2019
By Lela Nargi

Americans are good at a lot of things: making cheese, sending astronauts to space, playing football. But we’re bad at recycling. We recycle only 35.2 percent of the paper, glass, plastic and other stuff that we could, according to Beth Porter. She’s the climate and recycling director for Green America, a nonprofit organization that supports sustainability.

In January 2018, the United States got a little worse at recycling. China used to buy 700,000 tons of plastic alone from us every year, to make into new products. Then the country stopped buying almost all our recyclables. Suddenly, our bottles, cans and newspapers had nowhere to go.

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