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The Violent Afterlife of a Recycled Plastic Bottle

What happens after you toss it into the bin?


Sims's tipping floor in its new Brooklyn facility

Most of us do not think much about recycling. We might clean bottles and jars, crush cartons and break down boxes. We might sort these items into their designated bins or bags, but once we lose sight of the recyclables, the rest of the process is an abstraction. Recycling makes us feel good, but few of us know what actually happens to a plastic bottle after we drop it into a bin.

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