Mexico wrestles with growing piles of PET


World economic developments, coupled with inefficiencies here in the collection of recyclables, are leaving Mexican trash-sorting centers awash in a rising tide of plastic bottles. The problem is polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, containers. The discarded bottles normally are sold to be crushed into flakes. Then they’re exported to the United States and elsewhere in the Americas to become ingredients in such products as carpets, clothes, household containers and strapping. But now there’s a worldwide glut of the waste plastic. The prime reason is the U.S. recession and falling demand for manufactured goods. There also are other factors, such as a bumper cotton crop in China. The surplus has allowed China to use more cotton, and less PET, in clothes manufacturing—thus contributing to the... [Log in to read more]

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