The Story of Plastic: Where Your Recycled Plastic Ends Up


The mass production of single-use plastic has put us in the biggest recycling crisis in history. LEARN MORE: FOLLOW US: …



  1. Companies that produce plastic should take it back and reuse it. They should be responsible for sanitizing or melting and re-shaping into new containers

  2. Reading the labels is not accurate, that is where the product says it is made, when it can actually come from Chine. However, just in general the WORLD needs to become more efficient in dealing with waste!

  3. The key is reduce firstly … first we must break the shackles of consumerism and materialism in our communities but with the hyped of lifestyles and promotion of excess on social media is not teaching the new generations what is truely important

  4. So sad I have been a minamilist since 18 years old and will continue throughout my life . Focusing more on experience and reducing , reusing and recycling . Completed many no buy years and only by the basics expect for travel …

  5. How about the costs transferred to Proctor & Gamble? The companies buying and using all these containers should take responsibility. If packagers had to pay, packaging wouldn't be so cheap.

  6. Sweden and Japan have the right idea, incinerate low level waste to make heat and electricity and have high quality emission control for the smoke stacks.
    Incineration is a key to this puzzle, not the only one but a very important one
    Of course reducing your plastic consumption is the first step though

  7. Grow up. Recycling does not exist. The plastic just gets shipped to the other side of the world then dumped in a landfill. Because, there is no demand for recycled plastic.

  8. This is definitely scary, and frustrating that average folks in developed areas don't think about the consequences when they are consuming heavily plastic-packaged products. The footage of Surabaya, Indonesia was devastating to watch. Imagine taking a walk in your city or town and seeing piles of garbage lining the streets (in fact, I would really love someone to create simulations of municipal areas with the disposables its citizens creates).

    But here are a few small steps that everyone can do in their everyday life—

    1.) refuse buying products with plastic packaging… or with any packaging at all, if possible
    2.) organize a brand audit and contact companies that are responsible for the trash pollution found
    3.) for any products that must be bought in plastic, make sure that it is accepted in your local facility and it is CLEAN of any debris (recyclables not processed there or containers contaminated with food will not be taken and thus thrown out, negating the efforts to recycle)

  9. How to cope with this? I think we should go back to the source, which is, dare I say, the fossil fuel companies. Who should be responsible for the pollution caused through the use of fossil fuels, be it non-renewable energy or plastics, and toxic chemicals, and even armaments? The end user, or the most wealthy corporations on the planet, the industries at the source? I think the latter. There needs to be a global response. This is where globalisation could work for the many, and not just for the few.

  10. I wonder what would happen if we started taking the plastic wrappers/containers off of products and leaving them to the stores selling the product to have to do something with?

  11. Dumping plastic abroad is not recycling. we are constantly harangued and fined if we do not separate our waste into separate recycling bins but this video is stating that after we send it for recycling it is sent thousands of miles to be dumped in China or Asia. What is the truth. Are our Governments and Councils lying to us?????

  12. Badly needed is a central recycling facility in each region, located, say, 50 miles from the nearest habitation, to which both railway and highway access has been cut to a township of land with an adjacent township held in reserve. It should include a runway for smaller aircraft.

    This facility must be capable of handling everything that is shipped to it.

    Our current effort creates an illusion of material being reused, but only a very tiny percentage of the material placed in recycling bins actually gets recycled. People would be shocked to learn that the end result of their effort is that most of the contents of these bins ends up in landfill anyway. Some is shipped to third world countries where it meets a similar fate. One approach that has been tried with limited success in some states is to cook garbage with steam under pressure turning it into usable petroleum products, but is not a viable solution.

    Dismantling and sorting are not cost efficient.

    The most effective process is to grind up garbage and turn it into a slurry with water. That includes electronics, appliances, bottles, cans and everything else that is discarded with no need to separate items. Bottom dumping railway cars that release their load directly into a grinder are ideal. Separating metals and other materials from slurry is a well-established industrial process. Different kinds of plastics mixed together might be a useful constituent of paving material. The remaining solids that are largely organic may be compressed into large blocks, stacked and stored and perhaps used as fuel for a drier and to drive a generator. Utilizing this material is better than discarding garbage in landfill.

    Creating a central recycling facility likely means locating it on what is now forestland or parkland. Simplified disposal eliminates littering. Halting use of the land resource does not put an end to littering nor does it prevent nature from following its usual course of cleansing by fire to make way for new growth. We need to utilize the land resource proportionate to the requirements of a growing population. It cannot all be protected land that we sit back and admire until it leads to our demise.

  13. Pay ATTENTION where at the 0.12 second mark it states 'it STARTS when the oil and gas leave the oil head' and the show an OIL pump. In 2011 I read Plastic: A Toxic Love Story by Susan Freinkel where she speaks of the millions of barrels of oil that it takes to make plastic goods.

    According to the plastics manufacturing industry (2006) , it takes around 3.4 megajoules of energy to make a typical one-liter plastic bottle, cap, and packaging. Making enough plastic to bottle 31.2 billion liters of water required more than 106 BILLION megajoules of energy. Because a barrel of oil contains around 6 thousand megajoules, the Pacific Institute estimates that the equivalent of more than 17 MILLION barrels of oil were needed to produce the plastic bottles. Thus that one bottle of water in a plastic bottle is basically 1/3 oil.

    So it is getting off petroleum products like oil that is key! Beth Terry has a good website and book about her Plastic Free Life. And look in the mirror if you want to see who needs to accept some of the blame! How many things in your home have plastic. Be it the bottle of beverage, food container, disposable diapers, grocery items, personal hygiene items.

  14. My grandma used to say we're one technological revolution away from solving our problems with plastic.
    When it becomes too valuable to throw away, we'll be mining dumps.

  15. Thank you – more people need to be aware. Many use “it can be recycled” as an excuse for buying single use plastic. I love that you shared about how governments pressured collectors to accept more plastics that can’t/aren’t being recycled. None of the plastic, paper, or cardboard put into our recycle bins in our area are being recycled in the USA – confirmed by our distribution center.

  16. The only thing that could solve all problems related to exploitation of workers, developing countries, pollution, etc is world wide democratic control of work places including the management of waste. If everything is for profit then money will always be more important than people and the environment. Therefore socialism which democratic centralism such as Marxism-Leninism is the only way. However when a country attempts to adopt socialism the United States forces regime change through political meddling or military invasions and massacres. They do this because if a socialist country runs without any external aggression it will be more efficient and wealthy than a typical capitalist nation making the whole world switch to socialism and with a world wide alliance can invade and destroy the US. Give them a little taste of their own medicine if you will.

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