Earth911 Quiz #72: Are There Really Unrecyclable Materials?

In the wake of bans on U.S. exports of contaminated recyclables, many U.S. recycling programs cut back or eliminated entire categories of recyclable materials that they accept. The reasons are often economic; it’s simply not as profitable to recycle the material as before, because China paid for boatloads of materials. U.S. recycling firms had started re-calibrating their business to recycle glass, plastics, and paper that were rejected. But then COVID-19 arrived, with resulting budget deficits affecting recycling programs even while the demand for disposable items increased the amount of plastic in the waste stream.

In this Earth911 quiz, you’ll be challenged to identify which materials are recyclable — even if you can’t recycle them locally — and which can’t be recycled at all.

Making smart sustainable choices requires practice. Earth911’s weekly sustainability quiz helps you hone your ability to recognize earth-friendly products and services. Through your daily choices — from transportation mode to purchases to waste disposal — you can make a positive difference.

This quiz was originally published on September 19, 2019.


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