Do you know where that blue can of mixed recyclables goes every two weeks?
Much of it goes to China, but that may end in January. In July, China informed the World Trade Organization that it would ban “imports of 24 types of recycled materials including various plastics (PET, PE, PVC and PS), as well as unsorted mixed paper, textiles, and some trace metals. And according to Beijing, starting in January every waste container entering China is to be inspected for contaminated materials”, according to Bloomberg BNA. Much of the recycling we send is contaminated, meaning that it’s mixed with other recyclables or garbage. When it get to the Chinese processing plants, it requires people to pick through it, and the garbage has to be disposed of in China—after being trucked and shipped all the way from the U.S.