Do Your Part

9 12 2011

My focus is spreading the knowledge about bottle caps and their recycling process, but while doing this research, I found some other interesting facts about recycling that surprised me.

My mom always told me to rinse out the milk jug, my soda bottle, and other recyclable things, but I thought it was just so our house did not get ants and the little bits of leftovers in the bottles did not mold.

According to Thinkgreen.com as well as many other sites, I found that even just one item that still has waste in it can pollute the entire batch of recyclables (each batch being thousands of pounds), and is taken to the landfill not recycled.

Along with recycling properly, I try and do my part by reducing what I use.  One and a half million barrels of oil are used to make a years supply of waterbottles, and all this plastic is hurting our environment.  Rather than decomposing, plastic goes through photo degradation which breaks the plastic down into smaller and smaller pieces but never is really gone.  Even the process of photo degradation takes hundreds of years. The plastic is hurting the Earth’s animals in the water, on land and in air.  The picture below is of a baby albatross bird that was fed plastic mistaken for food by its parents. In its decomposing body, you can see that the plastic is still there, and hasn’t changed from its original forms in the slightest.

The average recycling rate that is remaining pretty steady throughout the years is 27%.  This resulted in 2,480,000 tons of plastic being thrown away in 2008 (recorded by the Environmental Protection Agency). Sixty million single-use drink containers were purchased in 2006, with 3 out of every 4 being thrown away right after the beverage was consumed.

Plastic bottles are the most common source of pollution found on the beaches and every square mile of water is said to have 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it. (Reuseit.com). Animals are dying painful deaths due to what they ingest.

So why not use reusable water bottles? There is less waste created, there are no worries about which recycling centers take the caps, and considering the US spent $100 billion on bottled water in 2006 (Oneworld.net), it would save everyone a lot of money!

Advertisements