To be sure, there’s a lot to worry about these days. But don’t overlook the big picture.
Our planet is in crisis, and it is up to all of us to make it healthy again.
That’s why it’s a little worrying that Americans are recycling only 5% of plastic waste, according to a new report.
Research from Beyond Plastics and The Last Beach Cleanup uses government data to determine that not only are we recycling a tiny amount of the plastic we use, but we are reducing it less and less .
In 2018, Americans recycled 8.7% of their plastic. Now the figure is between 5% and 6%.
“The plastics industry must stop lying to the public about plastic recycling,” says Judith Enck, president of Beyond Plastics and former regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency.
“It doesn’t work, it will never work, and no amount of false advertising will change that. Instead, we need consumer brand companies and governments to adopt policies that reduce the production, use, and disposal of plastics.” Do it.”
Millions of tons of plastic end up in oceans and waterways every year. Turtles, birds and other wildlife can become trapped in discarded plastic or die from eating it.
According to the National Academy of Sciences, the average American generates about 287 pounds of plastic waste annually.
The United States produces almost twice as much plastic as China, and more than the entire European Union.
Complicating the problem, most plastics are made from fossil fuels and can take hundreds of years to decompose naturally.
The solution is twofold. First, manufacturers must become more diligent in promoting recycling and adopting a more practical approach to the life cycle of their products – from the factory to the landfill.
Second, consumers need to assume greater responsibility for the recycling of plastics. It could be as simple as ensuring that such material ends up in a blue trash bin.
It doesn’t mean just throwing away or throwing away plastic waste as if it’s someone else’s problem.
it. This is everyone’s problem.
And Mother Nature will thank you for doing your part.
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