How many times have liberals told us that recycling is saving earth? From ads, to speeches, to the green-colored bins designed to make you feel good about tossing your plastic bags into them. However, an NPR investigation revealed that recycling plastic does not work: the only plastic actually being reused are white milk jugs and soda bottles. 

Less than 10% of plastic is being recycled.  And no, you standing at your sink every Saturday peeling the labels off your old peanut butter containers is not doing anyone any good.  This was a very expensive hoax, created by “big oil” companies trying to make us feel better about using plastic.  If we believed that our plastic would be recycled, we’d keep buying it.  And so we did.

Finally, companies are openly admitting the hoax.

Laura Leebrick, a manager at Rogue Disposal & Recycling spoke to NPR on the deception. “To me that felt like it was a betrayal of the public trust,” she lamented. “I had been lying to people … unwittingly.”

Recycling companies like Rogue had been sending plastic to China, but when this program shut down two years ago, nobody wanted all the trash (except white milk jugs and soda bottles). Now, all of the plastic we spend time taking labels off of and separating is being buried under garbage at landfills. 


So, all those bins?  All those “special pick up days?”  All that tsk tsk tsking by environmentalists?

It was all a sham.  However, most liberals didn’t know it.

“I remember the first meeting where I actually told a city council that it was costing more to recycle than it was to dispose of the same material as garbage,” Leebrick recollected, “and it was like heresy had been spoken in the room: You’re lying. This is gold. We take the time to clean it, take the labels off, separate it and put it here. It’s gold. This is valuable.”

It’s not valuable. At all. It’s a massive waste of money. So why have we been told recycling plastic is the best thing since the invention of the wheel?

“If the public thinks that recycling is working, then they are not going to be as concerned about the environment,” Larry Thomas, former president of the Society of the Plastics Industry.

Making new plastic is cheap and efficient. It also degrades over time, so reusing it several times is an unwise investment and not viable.

In a document from 1989, Thomas called together various executives to discuss the plastic crisis. Americans were noticing the excessive amount of plastic garbage and had started to worry about consuming so much of it. 

Thomas’s co-worker Lew Freeman, the vice president of a lobbying group, spoke to NPR on the debacle.

 “The basic question on the table was, You guys as our trade association in the plastics industry aren’t doing enough — we need to do more,” Freeman says. “I remember this is one of those exchanges that sticks with me 35 years later or however long it’s been … and it was what we need to do is … advertise our way out of it. That was the idea thrown out.” So began the plastics industry’s $50 million-a-year ad campaign promoting the benefits of plastic.

Not only did they shamelessly promote lies, but people have dedicated their lives to recycling. There is no way to estimate the amount of wasted time, money, and energy on garbage which saw no second life. 

The plastics industry raked in  $432 billion last year alone. One can only ask how much of this money is owed to public manipulation. This is unethical and needs to stop. It is about time the plastic industry is held accountable for blatant deception and shameless exploitation.

It’s also about time that so-called environmentalists admit this was all a lie.  

Hat Tip: NPR

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About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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