Highest Rated Comments

theintercept817 karma

Right now single-use plastic accounts for about half of what's made. I don't know the exact breakdown of who's using what, but clearly lots of single-use is food packaging.

theintercept418 karma

Yes, "virgin" plastic is extremely cheap right now and often cheaper than recycled plastic. In general, Coke and beverage companies in general, I believe, prefer not to have to take on the cost and responsibility of recycling their containers.

theintercept343 karma

Recycled - no. Recyclable though is different and it's important to distinguish between these two, it turns out. Much of the plastic in our oceans and landfills and scattered about is "recycleable" in that it has the potential to be turned into other products. But I have noticed many companies playing up their products' recyclability without acknowledging that, in reality, they're very unlikely to be recycled. The recently introduced Starbucks lid is a good example of this. (Here's a story on that one https://theintercept.com/2019/04/19/starbucks-plastic-lids-recyclable/ ) The gist is that, while the company is patting itself on the back for replacing more than 1B straws each year, the lid is made of polypropylene, only 5.1 percent of which was recycled in the U.S. in 2015. So most of them will end up in landfills and burnt too - even though they're theoretically recyclable.

theintercept275 karma

European research institutions tend to rely on public funding, here in the U.S., universities are effectively privatized, and academics are expected to rely on corporate funding and grants. It's a lot like the problems in campaign finance. In many places in Europe, politicians never have to ask big corporate interests or wealth donors for money because elections are run through public financing, and non-profit public institutions manage the debates. Here, it's a different story.

theintercept194 karma

Yes that's an idea. And also there could be requirements to include a certain amount of recycled plastics in products