Everyday we produce waste, in our current society, it’s almost impossible not to. Many of us make an effort to recycle our recyclables, but unfortunately much of that still ends up in the trash. There are also a lot of countries that don’t recycle at all so all of the waste – all of that plastic, effectively ends up in the ground or sadly in our oceans. For those of us who do recycle, we feel good about ourselves, and feel like we are doing our part to reduce our impact on the environment, but do we ever question what actually happens to our recycling and where it ends?
Like many other aspects of our society, our recycling is, for the most part, out of sight out of mind. We don’t actually know what is happening to it, we just drop it off into the appropriate containers and hope for the best. Unfortunately this is not helping and in many cases is making the issue of the global waste epidemic, much worse that we could ever imagine. Whether or not the waste is actually recycled doesn’t really matter, because as soon as it leaves the country it came from and is labeled as recycling it is counted as such, regardless of where that plastic and other waste actually ends up. Often, there is so much un-recyclable garbage and material mixed in with the stuff that actually can be recycled that it all just ends up going to landfills.
This could be avoided if communities and countries became more strict with their recyclable material standards, it could also be avoided if everything we manufactured was made of biodegradable substances, like hemp.
The following video from Sky Ocean Rescue shares some more eye-opening information about the truth about our supposed “recycling”…
Something Needs To Change
It is clear that our current “solution” to all of our plastic waste is not working, as the video says, we need to find a better solution to this epidemic. Recycling standards certainly need to become a lot more strict, and each country should be held responsible for their own recycling and potentially laws should be put in place by the UN that makes it illegal to export plastic waste and recycling, this would then force us to come up with a better option. It is not fair that there is no transparency towards what is really going on with the public. If people really knew, it is likely that they would take a stand against this.
What Can We Do, Ourselves?
Sometimes, we truly have to take matters into our own hands, we cannot rely on our governments to do the right thing, I’m sure many of us are aware of this by now. If we truly want to make a difference we have to do as Gandhi says and,
“We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”
What does this involve? Taking responsibility for our own actions and dealing with these matters on a personal level. Do you know where your recycling is going? Have you ever actually looked into it? This is a great start, but an even more effective way to deal with this problem is to stop it before it starts. How can you lower your consumption and amount of waste you are producing? Can you choose products that are not packed in plastic? Can you use reusable, glass or stainless steel containers? Could you go back to the old-fashioned bar of soap? The fact of the matter is, we got along just fine without plastic for many years, we have other options and can all make a conscious decision to choose those other options.
We have to remember that as the consumer, we do have a direct say in what the big corporations are manufacturing. By opting out of plastic products, the companies will have no choice but to update their products and materials, or go out of business. We have already seen massive companies like Starbucks & McDonald’s making huge changes in this regard. If you need some ideas on how to reduce your impact, check out 10 Smart Hacks TO Cut Plastic Packaging Out Of Your Life.
Change starts with you.