Too Much Plastic -- Again - NBC4 Washington

Too Much Plastic -- Again

Addiction to plastic still hurting the environment



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    When was the last time you got up from your desk and actually took that empty plastic Coke or water bottle to the recycling container? "Bin" awhile? 

    We are starting to bury the planet, once again, in plastic, because we are falling down when it comes to recycling, according to the Container Recyclin Institute. We also are consuming more beverages that come in plastic bottles. This is creating a vast network of problems.

    First, more manufacturers are making new plastic bottles to handle our thirst. New bottles increase our consumption of oil (plastic comes from petroleum) and use of energy. That's bad for the planet.   

    Second, once we finish the drink, we are starting to regress to the bad habit of  tossing the bottle in the trash. Thirty million tons of new plastic is being created each year and yet only 2 million tons are being recycled. The rest is ending up in landfills.

    Millions of Tons of Plastic Find Their Way to Landfills

    [DC] Millions of Tons of Plastic Find Their Way to Landfills
    We keep using increasing amounts of plastic bottles, but we aren't recycling most of them.
    (Published Tuesday, March 9, 2010)

    One solution is to make plastic from plastic. Some bottles are being made from 100 percent recycled plastic. Rainbow Light is now using recycled plastic to make all its vitamin bottles. It also has a cool looking water bottle called KOR that's made from 100 percent recycled plastic and is BPA-free.

    Eleven states are returned to the old fashioned deposit bottles. You pay 10 cents a bottle and then return it when you're done to get your money back. The bottle can be refilled up to fifteen times. It worked before and can work again. Don't think of it as a tax, think of it as an incentive. You get your money back.

    We also need more recycling bins in public areas. We are recycling at a rate of 50 percent at home but fall back to 20 percent in public because,  let's face it,  sometimes the recycling bin is just nowhere to be found.  

    Want to be a really good citizen? Rinse out your plastic foodware and take it home with you to your recycling bin. And vote with your dollars. Buy products made from 100 percent recycled plastic to encourage other companies to do the right thing.