Raymond J. de Souza: We can finally admit that plastic recycling has been a sham all along


After generations of governments at all levels promoting recycling with salvific zeal, we now have the confession: recycling of plastics has mostly been a crock. Those who wished to know knew long ago. I did, but then we economists tend to be the sort who — what’s the phrase? — follow the science. We are not dumbfounded if there are unintended consequences when government regulation mandates that rubbish has resale value.

This has long been known. In Japan it’s about 40% of plastics that get recycled. The rest is generally incinerated 🙄