Garbage. We all have it. Between recycling plants, overseas shipping, local landfills, and incineration facilities, there is a lot of it! Spending family time on waste management is a fact of life! Canadian families create more waste per capita than anyone else in the entire world! This is why these three new years resolutions are important in 2020
This is a record I’m sure Canadians are not proud to hold! But the truth is we can’t rely on recycling alone to solve methane output and plastic pollution. Recycling makes people feel like they’re doing their part. They believe it’s what makes the world right and the key to solving waste management issues.
However, companies create an overpackaging nightmare for us. This is why relying on recycling actually gives us a false sense of hope! The endless onslaught of garbage will never cease to end. Unless we can do something about it!
Plastic: A modern-day convenience
Plastic makes up our everyday essentials. Its a way of life. It’s a big deal and it’s affecting many lives positively. The reason, most likely, why no one has been complaining until recently.
Food and Beverage Corporations have taken our world over. They’re responsible for generating massive amounts of waste. The Environmental justice group named Coca Cola the number 1 plastic polluter in the world.
Cars and Airplanes both modern-day conveniences are made of plastic. By volume, cars are made up of 50% plastic. Like airplanes, car companies are making them with plastic components because they’re lightweight. It gives better gas mileage and improves design features.
Plastic glasses help us see through the day. It’s in the medical devices that help us live our lives longer. We mold plastic and shape them into a myriad of prescriptions. It’s no wonder we’re addicted to using this synthetic material.
Everything from safety gear to sports equipment… so much plastic! There is currently no natural material that will form our noggins better. Every sport ever played relies on plastic to start the game. Shoes, skates, pads, balls, and sticks all contribute to plastic pollution. Plastic is not going to go away anytime soon.
Reality of Recycling
What we need to do is find a way that actually deals with the problem. Canada has shipped most waste overseas to countries called “end markets”. However, there is a lack of International Government transparency and often poor labor standards. We sell it to poorer countries who either incinerate it, place it in landfills or illegally dump it!
Processing garbage hasn’t resulted in more post-consumer products. According to the United Nations, recycling has only accounted for 9% of post-consumer products. That leaves 91% of the total waste accumulated unaccounted for!
So once the packaging is in the blue bin what happens to it? This is what happens in my community. We use Smithright Garbage disposal. The operator tells me, “Don’t worry about sorting your paper from plastics.” We bring it to the depot and they’ll sort it!
I’d like to believe him. I imagine they’ve got a facility that has a state of the art system. The law directs companies and holds them responsible for the garbage in the blue bin. Therefore, all the waste in the blue bin has to go to a recycling plant.
But, the law changes once the waste is in bails. It then becomes a commodity subject to current market value. Since there’s so much trash selling recyclables has become unfeasible.
For instance, the paper has decreased in value by 110% and plastic bags are down 53% since 2017. These commodities have fallen in value because there is just so much of it!
This volatility is causing mass confusion in the industry.
To make matters worse, on Jan 1, 2018, China decided to ban foreign recyclables. Since then southeast Asian countries are taking the garbage. But, they have a smaller recycling industry. So only the highest quality material can now be sold overseas.
The costs of labor plus the commodity crash is costing Canadian Taxpayers loads of money. So much, in fact, the Ontario government must either raise taxes or cut social programs. Basically, the overpackaging and poor packaging choices ultimately costs taxpayers social programs!
Clean Your Recyclables: Recycling packaging should be without food scraps, oil, and coffee stains. It doesn’t work if there are two different types of material. For instance, paper coated in plastic or metal foil on paper. Contaminants such as these ruin tonnes of “clean recycling bales” meant for post-consumer products.
Don’t just recycle it: Be picky about what you pick up at the store. Companies often choose flashy nonrecyclable materials for their packaging. They’ll choose materials that cannot be recycled together but look great for marketing their product. Most people will just throw their packaging in the Blue Bin wishing it could be. But, instead, it could potentially contaminate tonnes of waste. Think twice before you throw it in the blue bin!
Reduce your waste: It seems every purchase I make people ask if I’d like a bag? Many people don’t think twice, they take it and move on with their day. We’re surrounded by plastic! People absent-mindedly put their fruit and vegetables in plastic bags! I know I’m not the only one that thinks this is CRAZY!
An army of overpackaged products has taken over stores and our lives! There are ways to reduce your waste and it’s not hard to do it once you know the way. Read more here about how you can make a difference.
Create Goals That Matter
Lots of garbage lots of greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, everyone knows the reduction of waste also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. We’ve created this fire breathing monster (methane gas) and it’s heating things up! It’s like the Earth took up a smoking habit and its lungs are black.
We can’t rely on recycling to be the answer to our pollution problems. We can’t keep throwing our trash in the landfills. The landfill waste is a methane generator. End markets are dumping our garbage into the Oceans or incinerating it. Let your New Years’ resolution make a difference in the world. Start now and see how changing one thing a day will help to make the world a better place!