Our Planet and Pollution

 
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IDEAL

Everyone has access to safe, wasteless, free water.

HARSH REALITY

It takes up to 1000 years for a plastic bottle to decompose in a landfill, and less than 20% of bottles are recycled (more like 12-15%). Even then, mose recycling is actually down-cycling: making lower quality products than the originals, usually requiring the addition of virgin plastics and toxic chemicals in the process.

TAKEAWAY

Recycling is not the solution. Let’s get rid of plastic bottles instead!

 

Did you know?

Creating plastic for the water industry results in 2.5 million tons of CO2 emissions annually.

That’s almost 10% of all the CO2 produced each year.

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Nearly 3/4 of all plastic ever made still exists somewhere on the planet.

But it isn’t just the pollution, it’s also the extreme use of our natural resources:

It takes three times the volume of water to manufacture one bottle of water than it does to fill it, and because of the chemical production of plastics, that water is mostly unusable.

The Earth Policy Institute factors the energy used to pump, process, transport and refrigerate our bottled water at over 50 million barrels of oil every year. It takes a fleet of 40,000 18-wheelers just to deliver our bottled water every week!

Those same water bottling plants have impacts on local groundwater aquifers and streams. Taking too much water can reduce or deplete groundwater reserves and reduce the flow of streams and lakes, causing stress on ecosystems.
That’s an awful lot of natural resources for something that, while it certainly has its purpose, we certainly do not “need” in such quantities!

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It's estimated that every square mile of the ocean has over 46,000 pieces of floating plastic in it.

What’s worse, on average, plastic bottles become trash in under a year and those bottles take at least 400 years to degrade, (some sources say up to 1000 years!) and nearly 3/4 of all plastic ever made still exists somewhere on the planet (only 9% has been recycled and only 12% incinerated) .

Today, the USA consumes 50 billion bottles per year, but
the national recycling rate for plastic water bottles is only 17%. 

Even then, MOST RECYCLING IS ACTUALLY DOWN-CYCLING,

...which means making lower quality products than the originals, and requiring the addition of virgin plastics and toxic chemicals in the process.

What doesn’t get recycled (or down-cycled) ends up in landfills and, eventually, the ocean.

In fact, it is estimated that every square mile of the ocean has over 46,000 pieces of floating plastic in it.

According to the Ocean Conservatory, plastic bottles and plastic bags are the most prevalent form of pollution found on our beaches and in our oceans.

 

It’s clear that, for the sake of our planet and future generations, recycling is not the solution.

 
Lucy Marie Horton