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VIDEO: Is Recycling Worth It Anymore? People On The Front Lines Say Maybe Not

Recycling works, but it's not magic. As America continues to lead the world in per capita waste production, it's becoming more and more clear that everybody — from manufacturers to consumers — "over-believes" in recycling.

This is a story about responsibility and what happens when everyone keeps trying to pass it off to the next person — and what happens, when finally, there is no next person.

This video is based in part on Throughline's podcast episode "The Litter Myth."

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Annabel Edwards
Tsering Bista
Becky Harlan
Becky Harlan (she/her) is a visual and digital editor for NPR's Life Kit, which brings readers and listeners actionable advice on health, finances, relationships, parenting and more.
Nick Michael
Nick Michael is a supervising editor for the Visuals team, where he leads the design and delivery of complex editorial projects. Those projects include NPR-in-a-Minute, which in the span of 18 months piloted over a dozen shortform video series and garnered 1 billion views across Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. He also serves as editorial lead for NPR's foray publishing podcasts to YouTube.
Mito Habe-Evans
Mito Habe-Evans (she/her) co-manages NPR's Video team and is responsible for the creative direction and sensibility of NPR videos. She leads the team in its pursuit of projects that are "smart with heart," from the comedic economics explainer series Planet Money Shorts to the short film Senior Spring, a national portrait of teens and guns. She developed NPR's signature documentary style with What Democracy Looks Like and One Nation Under The Sun.