More Recycling Won’t Solve Plastic Pollution

recycling plastic
This notion may be surprising to a lot of people, but it actually makes a lot of sense. Think about it this way: when you have a sink that is overflowing with water, your first solution is not to clean up the water that has already overflowed, it is to turn off the faucet. Given this, while recycling efforts are definitely needed, the real solution to solving the global plastic crisis is to actually to stop manufacturing single-use plastics altogether and to avoid using it as much as we possibly can.

An article written by Matt Wilkins expands on the topic:

“Recycling plastic is to saving the Earth what hammering a nail is to halting a falling skyscraper. You struggle to find a place to do it and feel pleased when you succeed. But your effort is wholly inadequate and distracts from the real problem of why the building is collapsing in the first place. The real problem is that single-use plastic—the very idea of producing plastic items like grocery bags, which we use for an average of 12 minutes but can persist in the environment for half a millennium—is an incredibly reckless abuse of technology. Encouraging individuals to recycle more will never solve the problem of a massive production of single-use plastic that should have been avoided in the first place.”

– Matt Wilkins
Recycling efforts are a good thing. Any attempt in curbing our plastic addiction is not wasted. However, simply relying on recycling our plastic waste is simply not enough. In order to solve the plastic crisis (a crisis we created), we need to critically analyze our individual actions and think about what we are contributing to when we purchase single-use plastic items such as grocery bags, plastic straws, and anything that comes in plastic packaging.
To learn more, visit Matt Wilkin’s article here.

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