Has our recyclable waste become one of the U.S.'s biggest exports? It's definitely starting to seem that way. The U.S. Department of Commerce says U.S. companies exported $6.8 billion worth of waste, scrap paper and paperboard in 2009, up from $5.2 billion in 2005. But not all of those materials are actually getting recycled, creating a virtual wasteland in third-world countries.
No, Seattle-based Starbucks won't be adopting a comprehensive recycling plan -- only 11% of shareholders voted for that. The global coffee shop chain, which has been spending much of its marketing money on promoting its "Shared Planet" initiatives lately, believes it's doing enough.