“The only way to get rid of [plastics] is by burying them. Plastics are regularly used, therefore, at landfill sites. Considering, however, that India generates 15,342 tonnes of plastic every day – a fourfold increase since 1999 – there will never be enough sites to fill. “We are sitting on a plastic time bomb”, as the Supreme Court has said. The need, therefore, is the reduction, recycling and reuse of plastic. But the norms laid down by the municipal solid waste (management and handling) rules are still not strictly observed. Unless remedial measures are quickly taken, a grim future awaits the cities.”
The New Indian Express, 05th April 2013.
Recycling statistics on plastic (source):
- Almost every hour, nearly 250,000 plastic bottles are dumped. It is not surprising that plastic bottles constitute close to 50% of recyclable waste in the dumps.
- The average time taken by plastic bottles to decompose in a landfill is close to 700 years.
- Plastic not only adds to landfill space and takes forever to decompose. Used plastic dumped into the sea kills and destroys sea life at an estimated 1,000,000 sea creatures per year!
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle ! (source)
Reduce means utilizing fewer resources. Of the three R’s, this is the most efficient strategy and is the right place to begin. It is also the hardest to follow because it contradicts several ‘in-vogue’ notions.
Reusing prevents utilization of new resources. It also prevents used resources from being treated as trash. It may not be glamorous, but it is important.
Recycling is the easiest R when it comes to Reduce Reuse Recycle. Don’t just toss everything in the trash. Lots of things (like cans, bottles, paper, and cardboard) can be remade into either the same kind of thing or new products. Making new items from recycled ones also takes less energy and fewer resources than making products from brand new materials. Your recycling mission is not impossible! In fact, it is very simple : don’t throw away anything that can be recycled !