Earth Day 2022 Fact vs. Fiction: Bill Nye Breaks Down Eco-Friendly Myths

In an exclusive interview with E! News, Bill Nye the Science Guy set the record straight on what all of us can do at home to make a positive difference for the planet Earth.

By Mike Vulpo, Alex Ross Apr 22, 2022 1:00 PMTags
Watch: Olivia Wilde's Son Knows How to Recycle at Home

You can still depend on Bill Nye the Science Guy!
Back in the '90s, Bill Nye introduced the magical world of science to a whole generation of children on his popular show Bill Nye the Science Guy. Dressed in a blue lab coat and bow-tie, the mechanical engineer mixed suspense and humor to educate PBS viewers around the world. 
His show wrapped after six seasons in 1999, but Nye hasn't stopped educating people about the beauty of planet Earth. In fact, the 66-year-old is now teaming up with the Coca-Cola company to unveil an animated short film that illustrated the recycling process.
"As we know, we need to reuse plastic," Nye said. "That's why I'm partnering with The Coca-Cola Company to show the science behind the process of recycling and how we can continue to address the global plastic waste crisis, together."
In an exclusive interview with E! News, Nye answered some of the biggest questions people have about "going green" today. Along the way, he provided insight into some theories you've always wanted to learn more about. Keep reading to learn some helpful tips that you can start doing today.

Do-Gooder Gallery

Fact or Fiction: You must rinse out plastic container before recycling it.

"The cleaner it is, intuitively, the less trouble it is at the recycling plant," Nye explained. "The reason I rinse my recycled materials, whether they're plastic glass or metal, is to not have bacteria growing in the recycling bin in my house because of the smell."

Fact or Fiction: Every day, each person in the United States makes about four pounds of garbage.

"It could be about right when you count everything," Nye explained. "You take all the manufacturing waste, all the industrial output and divide it by the total number of people. That could be two kilos or 4.4 pounds." 

Fact or Fiction: Recycling plastic does not help us reduce our carbon footprint.

"That's fiction. If you really could really recycle it, it would reduce our carbon footprint because we wouldn't be extracting petroleum, oil and gas to make the polymer in the first place," Nye explained. "The problem is if people don't recycle it, it ends up in the waste stream."

Celebs Dazzle in Green

Fact or Fiction: All living things make waste that is not biodegradable.

"That sounds like fiction!" Nye said. "Living things have been on the planet 3.5, 3.7 billion years. Not all the waste is not biodegradable. Sounds like some sort of trick question. I think humans made up the term not biodegradable."

Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Fact or Fiction: Pens, plastic wrapping and computer disks are examples of biodegradable waste.

"They can be made of these modern biodegradable plastics," Nye said. "I have a corn plastic coffee mug. And there's a whole thing now of corn plastic food film, they call it. But it's not everywhere. ‘Can' and ‘is' are two different things. ‘Couldn't be' and ‘are' are two different things. Wouldn't it be great if all this plastic that we're using for food storage were biodegradable?"   

Fact or Fiction: The amount of non-biodegradable waste can be decreased by reducing, reusing and recycling.

"Yes! Reduce, reuse, recycle," Nye proclaimed. "If you reduce the amount you're throwing away or going through or making use of, then of course you'll produce less waste. Reusing is great. In the case of materials that can be recycled, that is to say repurposed or taken from one use and used again in a different use? That's fabulous. That's recycling."

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