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The U.S. used to ship about 7 million tons of plastic trash to China a year, where much of it was recycled into raw materials. Then came the Chinese crackdown of 2018. Olivia Sun/NPR hide caption

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Olivia Sun/NPR

Where Will Your Plastic Trash Go Now That China Doesn't Want It?

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A row of new reverse vending machines, which collect drink containers for recycling, greets customers at the grand opening of the BottleDrop Redemption Center in Medford, Ore. Jes Burns/Oregon Public Broadcasting hide caption

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Jes Burns/Oregon Public Broadcasting

Because of layers of material that can be difficult to separate, many containers for juices and broths have traditionally been destined for landfills. But recycling them is getting easier. KidStock/Getty Images hide caption

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KidStock/Getty Images

A grande Cafe Nero, large Costa Coffee and venti-sized Starbucks to-go cups sold in London. The U.K. Parliament is considering a tax on disposable cups in an effort to cut down on waste. Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images hide caption

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Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images

Piles of plastic waste are pictured on the seaside in the coastal town of Khalde, south of the Lebanese capital Beirut, on September 22, 2016. Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images

Plastic Is Everywhere And Recycling Isn't The End Of It

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Workers pull out plastic and trash from a conveyor belt of paper at a recycling plant in Elkridge, Md. The plant processes 1,000 tons of recyclable materials every day. Dianna Douglas/NPR hide caption

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Dianna Douglas/NPR

Reduce, Reuse, Remove The Cellophane: Recycling Demystified

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At Resource Management's materials recovery facility, workers pull plastic bags, other trash and large pieces of cardboard off the conveyor belts before the mixed single-stream recyclables enter the sorting machines. Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio hide caption

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Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio

With 'Single-Stream' Recycling, Convenience Comes At A Cost

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A fisherman collects water on a beach littered with trash at an ecological reserve south of Manila in 2013. Francis R. Malasig/EPA/Landov hide caption

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Francis R. Malasig/EPA/Landov

8 Million Tons Of Plastic Clutter Our Seas

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Kwesi Bido, 14, (right) stops to fix 13-year-old Inusa Mohammed's flip flop. Both spend evenings and weekends searching for scrap at Agbogbloshie, an electronic waste dump in Accra, Ghana. Courtesy of Yepoka Yeebo hide caption

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Courtesy of Yepoka Yeebo

A Shadow Economy Lurks In An Electronics Graveyard

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Javier Goyeneche contends that trash can be transformed into beautiful cloth — with a much higher percentage of recycled materials than found in most commercially popular recycled fabrics. Courtesy of Javier Goyeneche/Ozy.com hide caption

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Courtesy of Javier Goyeneche/Ozy.com

Massachusetts composting companies like City Soil, which turn food waste into compost that can be used on gardens and farms, say they expect to get quite a bit of new business from the food waste ban. Courtesy of City Soil hide caption

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Courtesy of City Soil

Massachusetts Food Waste Ban Gains Broad Acceptance

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More than 170 volunteers in the Brattleboro, Vt., area have contributed urine to the Rich Earth Institute field trials. Mike Earley/Courtesy of Rich Earth Institute hide caption

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Mike Earley/Courtesy of Rich Earth Institute

The digester eggs at Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Brooklyn contain millions of gallons of black sludge. Courtesy of New York City Department of Environmental Protection hide caption

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Courtesy of New York City Department of Environmental Protection

Turning Food Waste Into Fuel Takes Gumption And Trillions Of Bacteria

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