Recycling one ton of paper saves seventeen mature trees, seven thousand gallons of water, three cubic yards of landfill space, and two barrels of oil (“Environmental Impacts”). It is much easier than most people think to make such a big difference. If every person took a few minutes to go through the trash being put in the garbage and recycle the things that can be, it could completely change the world. It is the peoples job to take care of the planet and everything on it, and if people are not willing to do the right thing on their own, then they should be forced to. Everyone should be required to recycle because it is good for the environment, helps the economy, and saves energy, space, and resources.
Opting for paper instead of plastic when one is able can be a great start. All over the world more places are gradually shifting to paper bags and banning plastic ones. California being one of the first states to recognize a plastic bag ban has the potential for lasting impacts given that in the Los Angeles area alone, 10 metric tons of plastic fragments are carried into the Pacific Ocean every day (Harth Richard). As more studies are being conducted and more information is being made public about the detrimental effects humanities over-consumption of plastic is having, some scientists are making attempts to make plastic safer and more sustainable. Some innovators are developing bioplastics, which are made from plant crops instead of fossil fuels. Others are working to make plastic truly biodegradable and some are looking for ways to make recycling more efficient (The History and the Future of
Much of this trash ends up in the ocean harming not only marine life, but us too. However, this is not only happening in America it’s happening all over the world with China at 8.82 million metric tons of mismanaged waste. All this waste if caught in a gyre, can lead to one of the garbage patches. This has been happening since we started using plastic but it the garbage patches were discovered in the early 1990’s. We keep throwing trash away that keeps being misplaced, then it ends up in the oceans with the rest of the trash. I propose multiple solutions, to enforce plastic bag ban and to enforce recycling. California has banned the use of plastic bags, meaning that if you do use them a fine will be put in place. Environment California explained how before the plastic bag ban California used up to 19 billion plastic bags each year with less than five percent being recycled. However, we can change that. By using less plastic bags we harm the ocean less. Another solution is to each week collect each household’s trash, per pound of trash found in the recycling bin provided by the city should be a $11 fine. Tiffany Edmonds, Solid Waste Management Department spokeswoman, explained why they started the fine “ It is an attempt to change behavior. The fine covers the cost of sending a garbage collection truck to the house to pick up the contaminated recycling bin” this will encourage people to recycle. Since the plastic
Many of these issues however, can be addressed and even resolved in several ways. Nowadays, a number of countries have begun to impose taxes on plastic bag consumption, with few even banning the use of plastic
Plastic bags begin as crude oil, natural gases, or other petrochemical derivatives. By some estimates almost 12 million barrels of petroleum oil are used to make 100 billion plastic bags. One solution is to stop using plastic bags. Plastic bag bans are spreading across the country with over 100 community bag bans across 16 states. Hawaii right now is the only state in the nation to adopt a full statewide ban. Internationally,19 countries from Bangladesh to Ireland have passed bans. Reducing plastic bag usage and shoppers to use reusable bags will help decrease our demand for a new fossil fuel and reduce our environmental impact. As a nation we need to begin to move away from the concepts of single use and waste. Plastic is made from oil.
Landfills are filling up with more and more trash every day and are expanding. Just by separating our trash everyday into plastics, cardboard/paper, cans, etc., we can minimize what we put in the landfills. Even if recycling was mandatory, I think this would help a lot. I spent some time in Germany and was able to participate in recycling more in depth. They recycle almost everything and have strict trash rules. Food that was not consumed goes in one small bin and cans, boxes, paper, etc., were sorted into separate bins as well. If you had something that was not in the proper bin or if your trash bag had something that could be recycled they do not take the trash that day. Some of the food that was not consumed was buried, the cardboard/paper, etc., was sent out to be recycled and reused. All of this helps keep Germany green and clean. Maybe we should follow in Germany’s footsteps to help keep our landfills clean of items that can be recycled and used again. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, in 2006, only 32% of the trash that was picked up was recycled in the United States. This leaves 68% of trash that is still going to the landfills and not being recycled. Although this recycling average is low, The Environmental Protection Agency hoped by 2019 the recycle percentage would reach 75%. The amount of trash that one person generates is astonishing. According to the EPA from Green Waste, in a single day 4.5 pounds is thrown out, which is about 1.5 tons of solid waste a year per person. The EPA estimates that 75% of solid waste is recyclable, but 30% is actually being
In order to get actively involved in preventing the Pacific Trash Vortex from getting even bigger people need to focus on using as little plastic products as possible and refrain from buying plastic products when they are not in need of such objects. "The best thing you can do to stop the growth of these monsters is use cloth bags, reuse and recycle plastic bags when you do end up with them, limit your purchase of new plastic products and use alternatives when available, and of course recycle any other plastic that ends up in your possession." (Hren & Hren 45) The world is thus in a critical condition as many fail to understand the degree to which their actions have a negative effect on the environment.
We can start by recycling bottles, paper and all plastic within our own home separately from trash or be fined for not doing so. I think that the USA should ban the manufacturing and distribution of plastic bags and make it mandatory for consumer to carry recycle bags or have it available in store for purchase. All stores should charge for plastic bag and this will us to use recycle
Americans have yet to face the unnerving reality of the fact that “in 2008 only 7.1% of the 30.05 million tons of plastic waste in America was recycled” (Linn). This low percentage is shocking, outrageous, and should terrify the American public, but this number can change. Recycling is not just a feel good experience; it is a way to help save energy, space, and money. However, with the enormous amount of trash being thrown out each year, landfills are increasing in size creating numerous issues. The staggering amount of waste increases greenhouse gases, contributing to global warming and building up dangerous toxins that sink underground into our soil and water, overflows into wildlife habitats and oceans, and costs a large amount of money to remove. By fining residents who incorrectly dispose of recyclable goods, implementing recycling as a requirement in educational institutions and other business and residential settings, categorizing the
The numbers of how much plastic and trash that are dumped into our oceans every year are sickening. According to Julie Mailto (2017) from her website Plastic Oceans, “More than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans every year” (para. 1). Plastic debris in oceans affect more than just simply ocean plants. Around 250 species of ocean animals are affected and are known to suffer from the consequences of severe plastic pollution. Reusable plastics are a great alternative to single use plastics. By using refillable water bottles the amount of plastic waste could be drastically decreased. Not using plastic straws, silverware, and sandwich bags could also lessen the effect of waste in our oceans. Recycling is the best way to cut back on how much debris ends up in the water. I have been recycling since I can remember. If people got paid to recycle then everyone would without question. I believe recycling should be a law in our state because it already is in other states and has been shown to reduce waste pollution so I believe it needs to be implicated in ours.
We, as a whole, have put a detriment on ourselves and our enviroment. The consequences of the industrial revolution and beyond are beginning to show. Our beautiful rolling hills and plains have become a place for us to dump our garbage. Our kin can no longer enjoy many of the places that the world has offered us. It is up to us to stop this process of destroying our enviroment. A simple tax would be a step in the right direction. A tax on plastic bags being used in the stores and markets would do many things, of which are, deterring people from using them, aiding in federal funds, and consequentially making people want to advance in their careers and job opportunities.
According to CEF in 2014, recycling helps to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills and as a result less harmful emissions like methane gas are released into the earth’s atmosphere. Air and water pollution are serious causes caused by landfills. People don’t get the idea that if you recycle it will help the quality of the air we are breathing into our bodies. If this problem is solved it will help eliminate health problems and other problems that are caused by all of the pollution we consume because it’s in our air. In 2013, according to SFGATE, the EPA estimates that more than 100,000 marine mammals die each year from ingestion or entanglement with floating plastic debris. How many of you have seen those pictures with the animals in the water with the Gatorade plastic stuck around their neck? I know most of you have, and have even maybe thought that one of those you “accidentally” plastic bottle holders you threw away could have done that. This is a simple change. Recycle the plastic and the wildlife will not be harmed because of our action of not recycling. Now after hearing what not recycling does to ourselves and our environment, wouldn’t you want to recycle since it’s so
As the United States deals with the overwhelming amounts of waste building up, Nitin et al explain that “plastics take anywhere from 15 to 1000 years to biodegrade” once they are discarded (Nitin). Changes in recycling methods can no longer keep up with the exorbitant amount of waste produced in the United States. This is why some states choose to take their initiative one step further by placing either fees or a ban on the use of plastic bags. Due to the enormous waste the United States produces on a daily basis and the negative outcomes of this trash including adverse health effects, harmful impacts on nature, and the exponential piling of trash in landfills, the US government should ban plastic bags.
This research question aims to think deeper on the circumstances of the overuse of plastic and paper, and what could happen more to the animals/birds, our environment, and our bodies if consumers keep on using plastic and paper products. This research question should be asked to raise awareness to users and most importantly designers, so they consider using other eco friendly material in designing their products.
In other words, in this era of high oil prices and energy scarcity, petroleum-based bags are costing considerable natural resources, and ultimately turn them into a huge pile of useless garbage. Actually, significant energies like fuel, from which ethylene gas is obtained and plastic bags are made, are nonrenewable, while human beings are still consuming these precious treasures recklessly. What's more, the plastic bags easily catch wind and blow, causing the difficulty of confining it to where disposed of (Borrud, 2007, p.75). This leads to the difficulty in recycling, which hinders the circulation and reuse of the material to a large extent. Moreover, Ross Mirkarimi, the author of the ban, also notes that the only 1% of the plastic bags in San Francisco is recycled, in spite of the city's perfect local recycling system ("100 Billion Reasons," 2007, p.77). People's poor awareness on energy-saving has brought the oil-shortage crisis one step further. A prohibitory edict on petroleum-based bags might be a right way out before we ultimately realize that the last calorie on the earth comes from our body temperature.