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We can't recycle our way out of the global plastic waste disaster.

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The vast majority of plastic that has ever been produced - we've made more than 8 billion metric tons of plastics - and 79% has ended up in landfills, or burned, or scattered around the world - i.e. not recycled. At our peak plastics recycling rate, in 2014, we peaked at a 9.5% recycling rate. That means never in our history have we managed to recycle even a tenth of the plastics we've been dealing with.

Journalist Sharon Lerner investigates the global environmental disaster of plastic waste - as plastics accumulate across the planet and within our bodies, recycling programs do little to avert the crisis, and more to distract us from the real solution - making and consuming less plastic.

Sharon wrote the article Waste Only: How the Plastics Industry is Fighting to Keep Polluting the World for The Intercept.

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Sharon Lerner

Sharon Lerner is a journalist, author, and radio producer covering environment and health for The Intercept.

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