We all are introduced to the three ways to save our environment: reduce, reuse, and recycle. At home, we are taught to recycle our bottles and use them as our water bottles or containers for household liquids like dishwashing soaps, detergents, or even our cooking and frying oils. However, is recycling really the solution to save our planet from plastic pollution? Maybe not.
Although it can help minimize the number of plastic waste being disposed of every day, it does not solve the issue of plastic pollution. It just keeps coming because we continually use plastic. While we do recycle them, we often end up disposing of them soon enough. Plastics are not meant to last long in recycling. They would eventually wear out and become rubbish. This means we would throw them away soon enough.
The truth is, only 9% of the world’s plastic is recycled. That means 91% could have been thrown away somewhere, become garbage, and intoxicate organisms in our environment. The most common is disposing our plastic garbage in the sea and other bodies of water. It may sound convenient that water will wash the rubbish away; however, the aquatic ecosystem would suffer from the consequences. This could endanger water species, which is quietly dwindling in numbers every year due to plastic disposal into bodies of water.
Is there any real solution to this? Well, we could all adapt to zero waste practices and use reusable grocery bags, aluminum, or tin water bottles. We can even resort to buying and supporting ethical products that practice zero waste policies in manufacturing their merchandise.
Right now, most countries around the world continue to support plastic use due to its cheap manufacturing process and price. However, this will have a really hefty price on our ecosystem and would derail the sustainability of our environment where we depend on everything. Think about it. We are continually destroying the environment by using plastic, even if it’s recyclable.