Have you ever considered the amount of trash that accumulates on Earth on a daily basis? A recent study conducted by the University of Cadiz, Spain and the University of Western Australia, found that eighty-eight percent of our ocean’s surface has been polluted with plastic debris. This finding concerns various elements of life, such as marine life and climate. It’s obvious that our world is facing a rapidly growing problem with litter on the rise. We can see its effects on community streets and in various other public places. So, can we make a difference?
The easy answer is “Yes, we can!” But without a proper plan, these words lose their meaning. We can make a difference and it’s through recycling programs. The idea of recycling is to convert waste into reusable material. By following the three “R’s” we can help to prevent the further flow of litter throughout our world.
The first “R” of recycling is Reduce. To reduce means to get less in degree, amount, or size. By reducing what we use there is less of a chance for waste to end up in our ecosystems. Reducing also has many other benefits. Reducing the amount of plastic bottles produced, for example, could aid in the decline of plastic waste in our oceans. Another benefit would be reduced waste lying in landfills each year. It is estimated that each year more than two hundred and ninety-four million tons of waste is sent to landfills. With many landfills overflowing this waste then has to be sent somewhere else, usually to illegal dump sites or into our oceans. If we reduced the amount of certain items we produced, like plastic bottles, then we really could make a positive impact.
The second “R” of recycling is Reuse. To reuse means to use again, generally more than once. Many things could be accomplished by reusing certain materials. Just reusing plastic bottles could save you money and prevent its spread to our seas. Although the U.S. makes up five percent of the world’s population, we produce over forty percent of the world’s garbage. If we start reusing certain materials like plastics, old papers, jars and pots, and envelopes along with a variety of other materials, then we can cut back on the waste produced by more than ten percent. By reusing materials we can conserve other materials that may not need to be used in production. A newspaper on recycled paper works just as fine as a newspaper printed on non-recycled paper, except the recycled one is helping the environment.
The final “R” of recycling is Recycle. By recycling we utilize the other two “R’s,” reduce and reuse. From recycling we can reduce the amount of waste accumulating in our ecosystems and even in landfills. From recycling we are also able to reuse many materials that would otherwise cost more money to produce while conserving many natural resources at the same time. Today about twenty-five percent of Americans don’t recycle. If we can adopt a policy of recycling for our world, we can make a difference, and a big one too.