Recycling: one big lie

The cold hard truth about recycling

The beginning process of recycling soaps and shampoos at the various hotels

The beginning process of recycling soaps and shampoos at the various hotels

Calena Lopez, Staff Writer

Everyday people recycle items like plastic bottles, bags, and straws in hopes that the used items will eventually be tended to and made into new replicas or different items to be reused and recycled again, but the hard and cold truth is that most items that are supposed to be recycled are thrown into landfills, to sit there for who knows how long.

While most people are recycling thinking their items will be going to the right place, it’s been proved that only about 30 percent of U.S. solid waste is recycled. About 15 percent is incinerated and about 55 percent goes straight to landfills. No matter how bad this sounds, it isn’t illegal, meaning its not going to stop anytime soon. Though it seems like there is no end to this, many people and companies are trying to counteract what is happening worldwide, and it’s not just small businesses but also big hotels, like Hilton, Marriott, and Walt Disney Resorts that are trying to stop this from happening. These hotels are beginning to recycle used soaps by a series of complex steps, along with recycling any other used toiletries to stop this epidemic that’s occurring worldwide.

For years the U.S. has been sending our yet to be recycled items in bulk to China where they remain there to actually be recycled or to sit there for many years. But ever since China’s ban on all American recyclables around 2018, more and more plastic is being thrown into incinerators and landfills, and most importantly the ocean, where these items definitely don’t belong. What makes this problem even worse is that it seems like the officials are starting to give up on this problem. The U.S. is dropping most recycling programs all together which will result in more pollution and trash being produced, hence ending up where it doesn’t belong. It appears that everyone is giving up, for example it was found that England, more than 500,000 tons of plastic and other trash was secretly burned, leading to major air pollution problems.

Although it appears that everything is falling apart, and everyone is giving up, that does not need to be the case. With the proper education, people can figure out items that can be constantly reused to replace any plastic items that may end up in landfills or be incinerated. For example, we can replace plastic bottles with filter bottles like Brita, replace plastic straws with things like bamboo straws and begin to reuse plastic bags for our groceries.