Revamping Recycling

China Forces U.S. Cities to Change Specs




Gino Santa Maria/Shutterstock.com

China, one of the world’s main importers of recyclable waste, is rejecting shipments that are more than 0.5 percent impure, so loads contaminated by a greasy pizza box, disposable coffee cups and the odd plastic bag could end up in the local landfill instead. Most single-use cups, for instance, are lined with a fine film of polyethylene, which makes the cups liquid-proof, but also difficult and expensive to reprocess. Most waste management facilities will treat the cups as trash. Since China banned impure plastics, many U.S. municipalities no longer accept plastics numbered 3 to 7, which can include yogurt cups, butter tubs and vegetable oil bottles. Another contamination culprit is food residue. Washing out food scraps from recyclables can be just as important as putting the appropriate item in the recycling bin.


This article appears in the June 2019 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Green Surfing

Ecosia, a German Internet search engine, has planted more than 52 million trees in the last 10 years by diverting its advertising revenue to funding new trees worldwide.

Aqua Breakthrough

Chinese scientists have used ultraviolet light and graphitic carbon nitride to purify two and a half gallons of water in one hour.

Mold Matters

Toxic mold caused by heavy rains, leaky pipes, and high humidity can be removed with natural products like vinegar and tea tree oil, but extensive mold growth is best remediated by professionals using “green” cleaning methods.

Norwegian Nudge

Norway recycles a whopping 97 percent of its plastic bottles by making bottle deposit returns simpler, and rewarding participating companies with lower taxes.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »This Month

When Pets Need Meds

Three Must-Knows About Their Care
Simple steps pet owners can take to ensure the safety of pets and children around pet medications.

Testimonies Needed to Protect Holistic Health in Massachusetts

Personal and professional written testimonies are needed to let legislators know just how important it is to protect unlicensed holistic practitioners in Massachusetts.

Island Intimacy Retreat for Couples in Puerto Rico

Natural Awakenings Puerto Rico invites readers to the Intimacy Retreat for Couples in the beautiful island of Vieques, Puerto Rico, from October 11 to 13.

Holistic Dentistry

Free and Mercury-Safe
Dentistry by Dr. David is metal-free, BPA-free, mercury-free and mercury-safe.

Find Your Inner Beauty at the Beauty Hurts Women’s Conference

Join other women from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., August 17, for the faith-based Beauty Hurts conference at the The Waterford Room, in Dorchester.

DreamVisions7Radio Network Welcomes Wendy Fachon

Natural Awakenings writer, Wendy Nadherny Fachon, is bringing her uplifting down-to-earth style of journalism to internet radio on the DreamVisions7Radio Network, every Monday at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.