March 2019, THE ATLANTIC … After decades of earnest public-information campaigns, Americans are finally recycling…. But now much of that carefully sorted recycling is ending up in the trash. For decades, we were sending the bulk of our recycling to China—tons and tons of it, sent over on ships to be made into goods such as shoes and bags and new plastic products.
EARTH CUSTODIANS: Recycling plastic to make plastic? Let’s get real: it cannot be that much less polluting than making new plastic considering the process requiring many chemincals, and that much of the recycled pastic will still end up in landfills because people just dump their plastic bottles wherever. Overconsuming does not and will never respect life as a whole. Moreover less than 25% of plastics are recyclable. In the US alone, only 9% of plastics were recycled in 2015.
*The national plastics recycling rate fell slightly from 2014 to 2015, as the country recycled less but generated more of the material, according to the U.S. EPA*. Here is another eye opener. If we were recycling wisely, the industry creating new plastic would go bankrupt, so realistically, a higher recycling rate is a pipedream. It will never happen as long as there is a path of the least resistance possible. But that is what money is made for. Truth is antagonistic to profits. Obviously!
And so it all started:
Plastics Pile Up as China Refuses to Take the West’s Recycling. (nytimes, Jan 2018)…. The European Union (EU) has announced its first-ever Europe-wide strategy on plastics recycling following a ban on imports of waste from Western countries (telegraph.uk 2018) …. China’s plastic waste ban will leave 111 million tons of trash with nowhere to go (theverge June 2018)… The impact of this will be far-reaching because China is the dominant market for recycled plastic (scientificamerican 2018)
EARTH CUSTODIANS: *China was the dumping site for more than 50% of the world’s trash, before the ban was importing almost 9 million metric tons of plastic scrap a year*, to paraphrase CNBC
China’s cheap labor was attractive to the so-called rich countries, so cheap that it was cheaper to send it over by boat than recycling here at home. Do you see the aberation here? How can one believe that such a paradox is going to bring about prosperity? Let’s ask our lawmakers!
Monetarism will always follow the path of the least resistance.
This gargantuan trash issue is one the best examples ever as why the concept of profit is an awful hoax, and will always end up causing unberable costs in the long-run. There is no way to balance output and input when taking whatever shortcuts. This is a Natural Law.
On top of that China never really recycled our scrap plastic completely but was also dumping some of it into the ocean along with its own trash, which itself amounts to a 3rd of the waste produced worldwide. Anybody able to think rationally can fathom the nightmarish picture easily
Comprehensive study reveals that of the 8m tonnes worldwide that pollute the sea every year up to 3.5m tonnes is from mainland cities (chinamorningpost) … It’s just one sliver of the massive pollution problem in Asia. China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam are dumping more plastic into oceans than the rest of the world combined (Apr 2018 , forbes)… Our plastic pollution crisis is too big for recycling to fix (2018 guardianuk)
ATLANTIC.COM: … These municipalities have two choices: pay much higher rates to get rid of recycling, or throw it all away. Most are choosing the latter. “We are doing our best to be environmentally responsible, but we can’t afford it,” said Judie Milner, the city manager of Franklin, New Hampshire.
Again confirming the negative impact of money, on one hand it is thus not possible to recycle much more to save the plastic/petrol industry, and on the other one, the total “suicide mode” we have embarked upon as a society.
This end of recycling comes at a time when the United States is creating more waste than ever. In 2015, the most recent year for which national data are available, America generated 262.4 million tons of waste, up 4.5 percent from 2010 and 60 percent from 1985. That amounts to nearly five pounds per person a day. New York City collected 934 tons of metal, plastic, and glass a day from residents last year, a 33 percent increase from 2013.
It becomes obvious that buying water by the gallon (with a jug) in some health store is a good start to save the environment – and us by the same token. But don’t expect to hear this on TV, the plastic industry is a priority, especially for shareholders. Such a dynamics is embedded in the efficiency of the markets. Unless one gets rid of money, there is no way to bypass the latter.
For a long time, Americans have had little incentive to consume less. It’s inexpensive to buy products, and it’s even cheaper to throw them away at the end of their short lives. But the costs of all this garbage are growing, especially now that bottles and papers that were once recycled are now ending up in the trash.
The legacy of materialism, that is exacty how the abuse of Nature is bound to end. Man is not above Nature. This planetary ordeal is really catching up and we won’t be able to do anything until we COMPLETELY renounce to our current and deadly system values. It is overproduction and overconsumerism – both ignorance based — that allow some to pocket monstrous profits.
That is where the concepts of a money-free society and a resource based economy kick in and becomes the only options!
At least at the Plastic Pollution Coalition and Earth Custodians advocate for the same drastic measure. WHO cares if this causes a market crash, after the crash we can rebuild society!
The Myth of the Recycling Solution…. Most significantly, plastic pollution will not be solved by recycling because it doesn’t stop the continual flow of new virgin-material plastic disposable goods every day that enter our environment like a giant oil spill. We need to STOP plastic pollution at the source by phasing out single-use plastics and plastic packaging. (2015 plasticpollutioncoalition.org)