It turns out that the sorted plastics are not reused and are properly burned, and the revelation report that the recycling system is broken

It turns out that some of the plastic waste discarded in the United States and Canada ends up in India, which has banned the import of almost all plastic waste. Bloomberg has conducted a survey report on why a large amount of plastic that seems to be recycled in each country follows such a route.

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Garbage discarded by municipalities in the United States is handed over to recycling companies and exported as resources to countries around the world. One of the destinations for resources is Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, India. The main industry in this area is the paper industry, and more than 30 factories are scattered. Indian paper companies import 6 million tonnes of waste paper annually, most of it from North America.

Among the waste papers imported by India, there is a mixture of different types of plastics, such as the labels contained in food packaging and envelopes. By importing waste paper containing such plastics, India is believed to bring 500,000 tons of plastic waste into the country annually. In India, the plastic contamination rate in waste paper is set at 2%, but it seems that many of them are overlooked because the check at the port is lax.

Bloomberg points out that one of the reasons India's waste import system is so dysfunctional is because plastic waste has value and buyers. In an interview with Bloomberg, Pankaj Agarwal, chairman of the Indian Paper Industry Association, said, ``All plastics have value, and there are people who buy them and use them.''

Discarded plastics are divided into valuable and non-valuable by workers at paper mills, valuable ones are recycled, and non-valuable ones are carried out by unauthorized contractors and illegally dumped. The discarded plastic is further sorted by low-wage workers and resold to other paper and sugar mills to be burned as fuel.

However, since the heat of boilers and furnaces in paper mills and sugar mills is not enough, the unburned microplastic ash is polluting the environment. According to the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, exposure to burning plastics can impair neurodevelopment, endocrine and reproductive function, and chemical emissions such as benzopyrene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons emitted during combustion The substance has been linked to cancer.

In October 2022 alone, the state's Pollution Control Board has fined half of the state's factories for burning plastic and improperly disposing of waste, but the number of factories that produce toxic emissions has increased. It seems that the current situation is that they are willing to pay fines because it costs a huge amount of money to introduce a filtration device to remove.

It has also been pointed out that intermediaries tend to facilitate the movement of waste from richer countries to poorer countries with lax legal regulations, and that intermediaries are linked to large fraud groups and criminal organizations. Bloomberg said, ``The soft plastics used in bags and packaging are among the most difficult to recycle and economically unrecyclable materials, so most American recyclers can't handle them. of consumers think they recycle their waste, but they are wrong.'

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