The Great Single Use Plastic Bugaboo

The problems created by the massive amount of single use plastic throughout the world have become a hot topic in the press as of late. NPR recently presented a report called  “The Plastic Problem Isn’t Your Fault, But You Could Be Part of the Solution”.  Some of the statistics presented in the report are startling:

  • 40% of all plastic is made in to packaging which is used once, maybe twice, and then thrown away.
  • All those single use plastic items, found throughout our homes and businesses, add up to 300 pounds of plastic trash per person, per year! Most of these items are not easily recyclable and end up in the landfill.
  • The United States is responsible for more plastic trash than any other nation in the world.

What is the answer to the problem of excessive plastic waste? This summer a plastic tax was proposed by a US senator, similar to plastic taxes already enacted in various European countries. But taxes won’t solve the problem. There are two common sense approaches to reducing plastic waste. First is to reduce the amount of plastic waste we generate. We could make a huge dent in the waste plastic problem by simply drinking from reusable water bottles, using reusable shopping bags and reusable utensils, straws, and plates. Second, recycle right. Throwing items you hope are recyclable but are not sure simply clogs ups the process and increases costs. You can learn more the rules of recycling for Randolph County at FAQ tab. Take heart in doing what you can. Every little bit helps!

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