How Americans, and the rest of the world, were bamboozled about recycling. And it was all done not by legislation as the impetus, but rather through to power of advertising. And the coalition of Big Oil and “Big Plastic”.
And here is the interesting part. Plastics are hugely profitable. And a good deal of the profit comes from the fact that cleanup and environmental impacts are all public monies. And this has been the long term goal since the 70’s, a half century ago, when the industry knew that recycling was impossible.
Massive costly externalities, thy names are “subsidies”. The industry is over $432 billion per year with a net profit margin of 6.2%. Great, companies need profit to work. No problem.
The issue is why we have to bear the costs of environmental impact. Chop off 2% profit and we would have almost $9 billion per year for cleanup. An incomplete analogy would be that you can’t poop in your neighbors yard. Rather you have to pay for the installation and maintenance of a septic tank on your property. Or pay the neighbor for the service.