Even Though Recycling is a LIE - Why We Cannot Stop
Lately we have seen a lot of coverage on the LIE of plastic recycling.
To which I hear a response of frustration and despair. So many of us identify as environmentalists & express this through diligent recycling. DO NOT STOP RECYCLING. Do not just throw everything in the landfill.
The coverage of the recycling myth is to bring awareness & put pressure on the governments to clean up their act. We must keep recycling. In fact our recycling must be more pristine than ever, so that when Australia, when the US, when the collective “global north” finally decide to recycle domestically they will have warehouses full of immaculate resources ready to be made into recycled swimwear and running shoes. Additionally we want to show our support for recycled goods so that they can compete with (cheap as dirt to make) virgin plastic products. Ideally heading towards tariffs and taxes on virgin plastics so that creating new plastic is priced out of the market!
So keep recycling. AND if you must buy something synthetic new, purchase a recycled plastic product. This will show demand for recycled goods, this will inject money into this low return industry.
If you haven’t heard China, who was the main importer of the developed world’s plastics, stopped early last year. Since then the spoiled nations who didn’t want plastics piling up in their backyards desperately sought out other countries to dump this low value hard to recycle material. Finding vulnerable island nations in Southeast Asia who capitulated to the super powers shipping in heaps upon heaps of dirty packaging.
It is hard to recycle because it is highly contaminated! So rarely properly separated. A million different kinds of plastic all thrown together. It would cost far more to separate all of this out, clean, & sort with other like plastics and then recycle it into something of often lesser quality than pure virgin plastic, which is already dirt cheap to produce. SIGH.
So the best thing we can do is use less plastic, clean & sort our plastics according to our local recycling centre’s guidelines (this makes it easier for them to sell on the global waste market), & support recycled plastic goods when possible. If you learn how your local recycling centre likes its plastics SHARE this info with your community. Let’s be supportive of recycling, because we have so much plastic circulating this HAS to be a part of the multifaceted clean up. Yes we need MASS REDESIGN!!!! And a higher price tag on producing new plastics. So that recycled options can compete with virgin plastics. And also domestic recycling in the first world. Time for us ALL to take responsibility for our waste. Individually & collectively. We got this!