In Washington state, as in most other places, the answer has been to recycle them whenever possible. In 2011, Washingtonians recycled 56 percent of recyclable materials, but since then there’s been a decline. Now the state recycles about 49 percent.
Subscribe to Crosscut Talks on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or Podbean.
For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, we listen in on a conversation from the Crosscut Ideas Festival about plastics and the challenges to recycling. Seattle Times environment and climate editor Ben Woodard leads the conversations with Washington state representative Liz Berry, Ocean Nexus Center director and anthropologist Dr. Yoshitaka Ota and Zero Waste Washington executive director Heather Trim.
The panel discusses why those numbers have dropped, as well as China’s role in recycling, the equity issues surrounding the practice and legislative efforts to hold producers of goods accountable by having them pay for recycling services.
This conversation was recorded May 6, 2023.