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Articles by Staff Writer, Slate Shannon Palus

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This story was originally published by Slate and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Americans generate a lot of waste — so much that we’re running into problems with how to get rid of it. We’re poised to run out of space in landfills within two decades, according to one estimate. Historically, we’ve sent tons of our used plastic to China (693 metric tons in 2016, mostly from single-use food containers), but as of last year, it is no longer accepting that waste.

A new possible solution to this problem comes from a surprising source: Major brands like Unilever and Procter and Gamble are collaborating to reduce waste in an innovative shopping platform called Loop, announced last week. When you order, say, Häagen-Dazs ice cream from the service, the company will ship it to you in a sturdy container for which you’ll pay a small deposit. You’ll get that money back when you return the container via UPS. The company cleans the container, and refills it with product to sell again.

It kind of sounds like corporations are giving themselves a giant pat on the back for reinventing recycling — now with the annoyance of consumers having to do add... Read more