Where Do All Your Plastics Go?

It would probably be much easier to believe that once you throw your plastic waste into the bin, they will all go to the same place where they get recycled and put back to good use at some point of their useful lives. Waste management systems in the West have been so efficient that people don't even notice what happens to their garbage after they throw them away. Well, they get picked up by the collectors and off they go, to who knows where? Actually, those plastics go into large containers where they are shipped to countries in Central America and Southeast Asia.

Living in one of those countries, I know that those wastes don't get disposed of properly. Without the proper technology to deal with them, a less organized system of segregation, and no proper backing from the government, those wastes are just piling up somewhere.

If I could do something about it, I would suggest that we just incinerate them. I learned in university that, though the process may release fumes into the atmosphere, it would solve our waste problem. At least, it's better than burying all that non-biodegradable material under the earth where it would take centuries if not millennia before they break down. Not even the whole population of plastic-eating worms will consume all the plastic we have built up.

For more on this story, check out Holly Hogan's article on The Walrus.

(Image credit: Marc Newberry/Unsplash)

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Even Greenpeace no longer wants us to attempt to recycle plastics (except those bottles you paid a deposit on). Put it in the regular garbage to be buried at some landfill.
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