Study: 1 to 2 million tons of US plastic trash go astray

Plastic debris on the shore of Lake Superior Plastic debris on the shore of Lake Superior |  Photo: Jon Ellis/WDIO-TV, file

SETH BORENSTEIN
Created: October 30, 2020 06:19 PM

A new study finds that well more than a million tons of plastic waste in the U.S. isn't going where it should, instead ending up in oceans and rivers and along roads.

Friday's study examines what happened in 2016 to America's plastic waste, finding up to 1.2 million to 2.5 million tons of it was mismanaged. This is the equivalent of a pile of plastic trash on the White House lawn the size of the Empire State Building.

The waste was either littered, illegally dumped or exported then not properly disposed of abroad.

But since 2016, the last year of good data, countries such as China have dramatically cut the amount of US trash they take in.

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SETH BORENSTEIN

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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