Why Bother Recycling?

There is so much litter and contamination in our environment that it can be easy to say “why bother?” Recycling can feel tedious, especially when we throw everything in a trash bin it becomes an out of sight, out of mind situation. Recycling does matter though.  Recycling not only helps conserve limited resources, it also saves energy, creates jobs, and helps build a strong economy.  And it reduces problems associated with litter and trash. As this term draws to a close, I want to reflect on the positive. There are a lot of great changes being made today through education and individual actions. The following are examples of positive results of change that currently in the news:

1. Bioplastics
Yesterday news was released that Coca Cola has come up with the first 100% plant based PET bottles.

2. Clean Up
Here is a link to a story of a young man from Holland with a plan to clean up the global ocean using a passive floating debris collecting device. (This was mentioned earlier in our blog but its worth remembering!)

3. The Single-Use Bag Ban
Many cities have eliminated the use and distribution of single use bags. The idea is catching like wildfire. More than 20 million Americans live in communities with plastic bag bans or fees. Below is a map of states that have already made the change. http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-product-design/plastic-bag-bans-spreading-united-states.html

4. Retiring the Use of Less Recyclable Materials
Polystyrene foam trays will be swapped out for compostable plates at schools in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Miami and Orlando, Fla., next year. This will divert 225 million non-degradable polystyrene foam trays from ending up in landfills each year!

This is just a small sampling of the positive news flooding the internet right now. It’s so important to remember that even though the negative statistics are staggering, if we work together we can make a huge difference. Through education and personal practice, we can, and have the responsibility to clean up our environment.