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News / Clark County News

What really happens to plastics intended for recycling in Clark County?

Tracking disposal of packaging, products a complex task that frustrates those seeking to boost recycling, cut down on trash

By Erin Middlewood, Columbian Managing Editor for Content
Published: November 7, 2021, 6:05am
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10 Photos
Patty Page has helped organize a recycling effort at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Vancouver for the past decade.
Patty Page has helped organize a recycling effort at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Vancouver for the past decade. "It gets convoluted because manufacturers do their best to justify the existence of plastics and pretend that they're recyclable when they're not, and they're not taking responsibility." (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

When you toss a plastic soda bottle or a milk jug into your blue curbside recycling bin, you probably imagine that somewhere down the line — poof! — it turns into a new container or maybe a fleece jacket.

The fact is, we don’t know for sure what happens to that plastic.

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