This past month, an article published by USA Today, brings up the issue of plastic not being reused or recycled correctly. Today, our recycling system is filled with secrets and have no one to hold accountable. Only around 9% of plastic is properly recycled, which leaves for 8 million tons of plastic to enter our ocean every year. Only around half of the plastic that we recycle is actually being taken care of, while the other half is being sent overseas for a smaller, less fortunate country to deal with. This is what leads to large plastic buildups, which can permanently damage the area its in and the life that surrounds it.
“The U.S. ships a million tons of plastic waste overseas every year. Starting in the 90s, the U.S. shipped plastic waste to China where the most useful items might actually be recycled. However, much of it got dumped into rivers, which carried the plastic into the ocean. China banned these imports in 2018. Then, the U.S. started shipping plastic waste to countries even less capable of handling it.”USA Today
These actions are unfair because these countries are not properly equipped for this amount of trash and causes them to suffer the consequences of it. For one, plastic is extremely harmful for the environment, so it is not only affecting them geographically, but also taking up space for people to live. As each day passes, the population continues to increase drastically and requires us to have more space for the new people being brought into the world. Through pilling up large amounts of plastic, we reduce the amount of space available for future lives. Through not putting a stop to this problem soon, these buildups will only grow bigger and bigger until we finally cannot do anything about it. Large corporations must do their part in protecting our planet and making sure we dispose of plastic pollution properly in order to preserve the future of the world.