DOERING: Just 5 percent of plastic waste is recycled in the U.S. each year. Of the other 95 percent, some winds up as pollution in the ocean, most is buried in landfills and roughly 10% is burned, generating harmful air pollutants like dioxins and ash containing heavy metals. But waste incineration facilities don’t actually have to report the toxic chemicals they’re emitting from burning plastic waste. Advocates with Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, or PEER, and Energy Justice Network are petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency to change that. Timothy Whitehouse is the executive director of PEER and he joins me now. Welcome to Living on Earth!
WHITEHOUSE: Thank you. It’s good to be here.