“Plastic Wars” looks at how the plastics industry has used recycling to help sell more plastic — and why the plastic waste problem has only grown. The one-hour program, which aired March 31, 2020, is a collaboration among the Washington PBS FRONTLINE team, NPR and the Investigative Reporting Workshop.
The seven-month investigation took the investigative team to Oregon, Washington, D.C., and Indonesia, where much of the U.S. waste now lands.
Related stories From FRONTLINE, NPR and IRW:
- An overview of the program, which found that insiders always doubted the economic viability of recycling, even as they promoted it. And made money making more plastic.
- A guide to when recycling works best.
- A look at promises major companies have made in the past and are committing to in 2020.
- How the industry spent millions promoting plastic, only to sell more.
- How big oil misled the public.
- IRW also plans to host a screening and meet-the-producers event in September. The date and details will be announced later this year, and the program, at American University, will be free and open to the public.