We’ve all heard of recycling. It’s a topic most of us learned when we were kids and something just as many, if not more, have already grown to take part in, whether it be to try and help the planet survive or to make a bit of profit from their used bottles and cans.
However, just three to four years ago from 2017 to 2018, 3.4 million tonnes of plastics were used. Out of all of that, only 9.4%, or 320,000 tonnes was recycled. Of that amount, 46%, or 145,700 tonnes was reprocessed in Australia and the other 54%, or 174,300 tonnes, was exported for reprocessing.
By not recycling, several repercussions arise such as natural habitats and the environment as a whole, especially the ocean, being harmed and/or destroyed. Another includes finite resources being wasted, which means that every time any company or manufacturer creates a product, they have to collect the resources needed through other methods, using up more of the planet’s limited supply.
By recycling, the amount of waste in landfill as well as greenhouse gas emissions are both reduced. Recycling also aids in the conservation of natural resources such as the plastics and metals that would be mined if not recycled. Along with improving the lives and habitats of not only humans but local wildlife also, total energy usage across the planet is also reduced. Not to mention, originally burning trash was an acceptable method of waste management. Not anymore. Burning them only wastes the materials that could be used for other means, because unlike any plastic found in landfill or the ocean, incinerated plastic cannot be recovered.
Overall, not recycling is endangering the planet as well as the inhabitants including us and all wildlife, especially their habitats. By taking the time to recycle, you can help stop the planet from turning into a polluted wasteland, one plastic bottle or metal can at a time. Not only by recycling are you preventing the overall loss of finite resources, but also making a bit of money in the process, so there’s no reason not to since it saves you the effort of having to throw away all of your empty bottles and cans which aren’t going anywhere else.
By Kane Kennedy