Image courtesy of PublicSource.

Yesterday, we brought you a story on Pittsburgh’s efforts to improve glass recycling.

Today, we want to point you toward a powerful story and slide show at PublicSource that explores Pittsburgh’s environment through the lens of plastic recycling — what’s being done to recycle plastics, why it’s gotten more difficult recently and why eliminating plastic consumption is becoming more necessary than ever.

“By 2015, the world had produced 6,300 million metric tons of plastic waste. Of that, the 2017 study notes that only about 9 percent has been recycled,” PublicSource writes. “More than 90% of the plastic waste has been buried in landfills, burned in incinerators or ended up littering lands, rivers and oceans.”

Researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have found that it takes from about 10 to 600 years for plastic objects to biodegrade in the environment.

Recycling has always been considered a part of the solution to the problem of plastic pollution. But American recycling is facing a crisis since China announced in January 2018 that it would sharply limit plastic imports. The move sparks questions about what actually can be recycled and how plastic waste is handled in Allegheny County.”

Check out the full story here.

Melissa Rayworth

Kidsburgh Editor Melissa Rayworth specializes in stories about culture, gender, design and parenting. She has written for a variety of outlets in the U.S. and Asia, and is a frequent contributor to The Associated Press. Find a selection of her work at