For 40 years, plastic and petrochemical companies have tried to convince the public that plastics can be recycled. But they’ve known for just as long that plastics recycling would never work.

report released last week by the nonprofit Center for Climate Integrity, or CCI, chronicles a “decades-long campaign of fraud and deception” from Big Oil and the plastics industry to promote recycling as a solution to the plastic pollution crisis. New documents show that industry executives pushed plastics recycling despite knowing since the 1980s that it “cannot be considered a permanent solid waste solution,” and that recycled plastics would never be able to compete economically with virgin material. 

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