NWRA Responds to NPR Story that Mischaracterizes Plastic Waste

NWRA Responds to NPR Story that Mischaracterizes Plastic Waste

Arlington, VA – The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) issued the following response to National Public Radio’s (NPR) story, “Recycling Plastic is Practically Impossible – And the Problem is Getting Worse.”

“The opening statement suggests that [t]he vast majority of plastic…put in blue recycling bins, is headed to landfills…’ That is not true,” said NWRA President & CEO Darrell Smith. “Our members own the majority of recycling facilities in the country. And we can confirm that recyclables get recycled.”

Some plastics are not recyclable. If the public puts non-recyclable materials in their recycling bin, those materials will get landfilled. However, that is a small amount of material. What is recyclable in most areas are plastic bottles and jars. NWRA always recommends confirming with your local authority what can and cannot be recycled.


The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry. Association members conduct business in all 50 states and include companies that manage waste, recycling and medical waste, equipment manufacturers and distributors, and various other service providers. For more information about NWRA, please visit www.wasterecycling.org.

Brandon Wright
National Waste & Recycling Association