Second Life for Styrofoam

A growing number of companies are protecting the environment -- and profits -- by recycling plastics

"I just want to say one word to you. Just one word . . . Plastics."

That line from Mike Nichols' 1967 film, The Graduate, became a classic put- down of the Establishment, but 22 years later plastics are no joke. Mounds of plastic-foam cups and empty soda bottles clutter roadsides and choke waterways. Though the U.S. faces a staggering excess of all forms of solid waste, plastic refuse is especially onerous: all but invulnerable to deterioration, the debris can last for centuries. What's more, a mere 1% of all plastic waste is being recycled, in contrast to 25% of used...

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