Spain-based EsPlásticos is a "plastics platform," i.e. a sort of collective PR arm for European plastics manufacturers. "The main objective of the Platform is to publicize the sustainable solutions that plastics offer to the challenges of society," they write, "as well as to highlight the many economic, technical, social and environmental advances that these unique materials have made and continue to make possible." In other words, their mission is to dispel any negative connotations of the material.
Hence they've launched this publicity stunt: The Museum of Plastic, a temporary structure made out of you-know-what, erected outside of Spain's National Museum in Madrid. Its projected lifespan is just ten days; opened last Saturday, it's due to be torn down on May 17th--World Recycling Day--and recycled in its entirety, to remind the public that, yinno, plastic is recyclable.
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Plastic is a wonderful material, and it's wonderful that it's technically recyclable. The problem is that the vast majority of plastic is never recycled. According to National Geographic, citing a global study from the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances, just 9% of plastic gets recycled.
The EPA, analyzing U.S. data, found just an 8.7% plastic recycling rate for 2018.
So both worldwide and in the U.S., the actual non-recycling rate of plastic is greater than 90%. If there was a car model that, more than 9 times out of 10, failed to safely convey its occupants to their destination, no one would call that car safe.
The Museum of Plastic will certainly be recycled, because people will be watching; hired camerapeople will be on hand to record it, and a team will be hired to edit and upload it. It's a classic distraction technique. Unseen are the billions of people worldwide who won't, can't or simply don't recycle their plastic. But plastics companies can keep their consciences clean, saying "Well, what do you want from us, we made the stuff recyclable."