Have you ever wondered where the plastic goes when you throw it away? If you think it will be recycled, think again, because not everything is recycled and not every type of plastic is recyclable. 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic is plastic waste, only seven percent of plastic waste can be recycled. The rest ends up in the landfill, swimming in the ocean, and incinerated.
But why is this a concern for the climate? Since we can’t recycle all of the plastic, the only way we can handle it is leaving in the landfill under a hot sun, or incinerating it, which are both very bad because it breaks down into methane and ethylene, which are part of greenhouse gases; yes, plastic pollutes greenhouse gases into the air. Not only that, the process of making plastic is another issue because plastics are made from oil and gas, so producing plastics are producing more greenhouse gases; in 2019, if you put those two together, you get more than 850 tons of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere and the more we keep doing this, by 2050 we will have 2.8 billion tons of greenhouse gases into the air.
So what should we do? I would say it would be easy to do, but we are so used to having plastic bags, and water bottles, it became a mentality of ours to use them because it’s very convenient; I would say plan the stuff you are going to use; if you need to go to the supermarket, use reusable bags; most supermarkets if not, all should have strong reusable bags for as low as one dollar. Personally, I use a shopping cart bag for heavier stuff and it’s already in a one big bag, so plastic bags are not needed. If you are going to jog, or have a long day ahead of you, grab a metal bottle, not the plastic ones, and pour whatever drink you want; the bottles have a variety of sizes and depending on what bottle you are using, it can keep your drink cold for many hours. Overall, find ways of not using plastic, it does more hurt than Earth’s climate and that’s another story for another time.