May 1999 data: Pie graph showing that beverage containers comprised 42% of urban street litter, Take-out & fast food 19%, Tobacco-related (not including filters) 8%, Beverage carriers, bottle caps & pull tabs 5%, Candy, Gum & Snack food 5%, Toiletries 2%, and "accidental litter" 19%.
May 1999 data: Pie graph showing that beverage containers comprised 44% of litter in waterways, Take-out & fast food 16%, Candy, Gum & Snack food 6%, Beverage carriers, bottle caps & pull tabs 6%, tobacco related (not including filters) 4%, toiletries 3%, and "accidental litter" 16%.
May 1999 data: Pie graph showing that beverage containers comprised 53% of litter on highways & rural roads, take-out and fast food 20%, candy, gum and snack food 6%, tobacco-related (not including filters) 5%, beverage carriers, bottle caps and pull tabs 3%, toiletries 1%, and "accidental litter" 12%.
May 1999 data: Pie graph showing that beverage containers comprised 49% of total Kentucky litter, take-out and fast food litter 20%, candy, gum and snack food 6%, beverage carriers, bottle caps and pull tabs 5%, tobacco-related (not including filters) 5%, toiletries 1%, and "accidental litter" 12%.
Michigan data from 1990 to 2004 shows a steady recycling rate around 95 to 100%. Massachusetts data from 1990 to 2004 shows a slight rise from about 75% to 85% betweeen 1990 and 1996, followed by a fall to about 69% in 2004. New york data from 1984 to 2004 shows a recycling rate hovering between 70 and 80%. Oregon data from 1997 to 2002 shows a decline from around 88% to 81%. California data shows a significant rise from 52% in 1988 to 81% in 1992, then a gradual decline to 60% in 2004. The United States as a whole exhibits a lower recycling rate: 40% in 1984, rising to 52% by 1992, and falling again to 35% in 2003.
A pig labeled "Junk drink bottlers," and robed skeleton labeled "Gun Makers," and another identical skeleton labeled "Tobacco Companies" sit in a pile of discarded beverage containers at the front of a classroom. The Tobacco Company says, "Okay, repeat after us:" He points to a chalkboard with the following written on it: "*Consumers enjoy our products! *What happens after we sell them isn't our problem..."
A man labeled "ALCOA" points to a demonstration pad of paper, which says, "Goals: 1-Use more recycled content. 2-Reduce Greenhouse gases." The caption says, "Aluminum Can." In the next frame, the pad of paper now says, "Explain how Goals will be reached." The man has a puzzled look on his face and a thought bubble with a question mark. The caption is, "Aluminum Can't."
A newspaper kiosk displays the following headline: "Survey: Cash helps recycle rate." Next to it is a reverse vending machine spilling out coins. A woman who is putting a can into it thinks, "So that's the positive change that can result."
A suited man, holding a newspaper that says, "New York State Legislature Bottle Bill Reform," is squeezed into a glass bottle. The cap reads, "N.Y.S Bottlers."
The Bigger Better Bottle Bill, represented by a skinny man on a bicycle with a basket full of recyclable bottles, is pedaling down the road. Next to him is a huge SUV labeled "New York Grocers and Bottlers Association." A bumper sticker on the vehicle reads, "Dump the bottle bill." The vehicle's occupant is reaching out the window, dumping a garbage can full of bottles onto the bicyclist's head. The garbage can is labeled, "Larger Louder Litter Lobby."
A woman watches a television which shows someone crying as someone else throws away a bottle, and the words, "Litter Lobby Lies." The caption reads, "High visibility campaign against the bottle bill." The next frame shows a car speeding down the road with a bottle spinning through the air to land in a pile of other littered containers. The caption reads, "High visibility campaign in favor of the bottle bill."
In the first three frames, Lucy from "Peanuts" sucks on a baby bottle, ponders it, and then tosses it away. In the third frame, she crawls away, thinking, "I'm surprised there's no refund on the empty bottles."