We’re on the edge of plastic mayhem!
China has recently banned 24 kinds of foreign trash from entering their country. This took effect on January 1, 2018. We are just now seeing the ripple affect of the ban.
What’s going on?
China is facing a huge environmental crisis because of all the dirty trash that has been sent by multiple western countries. Who’s the biggest culprit? You guessed it. The United States.
We basically ship our trash to china for them to sort through. This has created jobs for many people there and has boosted their economy. But they have too much.
China’s restive population is now starting to demand government action to combat the deadly plagues of pollution and disease that comes along with all the dirty trash we send them. All the air, water, and ground pollution is making life almost unbearable, so they are putting an end to it.
A major problem is with the recycled products being contaminated with non-recyclable material like wool sweater, teddy bears, gas cans, and among many other things that are considered trash.
Many cargo ships have been turned away at china’s ports, which are not allowing any more trash or recyclable materials.
This sudden ban has left Western countries scrambling to deal with a buildup of plastic and paper garbage. Many recycling centers are now piling up with recyclables with nowhere to send the smashed bails.
IT’S ONLY BEEN A MONTH! The recycling centers have been told to discard the bails into the landfill just to get rid of it.
Plastic pollution has gotten out of hand and will continue to worsen if we do not do anything to stop it.
A BIG PROBLEM
One massive problem is that many people do not know how to properly recycle items.
Recycled items need to be cleaned and washed out.
Plastic bags cannot easily be recycled (It’s best just to avoid them whenever recycled!)
Not everything is recyclable.
I personally think recycling should be the last resort for getting rid of products. There are six ways to go about consumerism.
Landfill (Just throw it away)
Reducing our consumption, reusing items, and refurbishing/fixing the products we buy are pretty low on our lists of things to do right now because of our capitalist society. Composting is a little higher, but many people do not compost or know what to do with organics. Recycling has made huge headway if we can remember to do it and if we do it right. Lastly, a lot of the stuff we buy like single-use, contaminated, or food wastes goes to the landfill. (Which is just another huge problem in itself.)
Now let’s look at this future goal of reducing, reusing, refurbishing, composting, recycling, and throwing things in the landfill. The goal is what a clean, sustainable lifestyle aims to accomplish. To lower our environmental footprint with reducing, reusing, refurbishing, and composting the most. Then recycling if we must. And never sending anything to the landfill.
This is why I promote minimalism and positive consumerism through Cut Fluff.
Let’s cut wasting our precious natural resources by throwing them into a hole, or into the ocean, or even burning them. They are useless once they get to that point.
Let’s take a quick look at the product cycle loop. First, raw materials are extracted from earth. They are then shipped to a product manufacture where they are refined and made into thing you want to buy. The products are then transported to retail stores and displayed on shelves for you to buy.
You, the consumer, use those products and have a choice. You can either cut back on what you buy, buy quality items that will last several uses, refurbish and fix those items, compost your organics, recycle your glass, paper, metal or plastic, or send things to the landfill.
The land fill items are either buried, burned, or dumped into the ocean for fish, wales, sharks, sea birds, etc. to eat. YUM DELICIOUS!
Your recycling goes to the recycling center and then processed back into new product for you to enjoy. (This is where China is getting upset! They don’t want to deal with DIRTY RECYCLING). Your compost can also be recycled back into the earth or used for other things like on a garden.
The ideal cycle would exclude the landfill option and be a closed circle with a never-ending product loop. The cycle is broken with things end up in the landfill. They basically go there and die.
The China ban on foreign waste may actually be a good thing!
Maybe it will kick our Western Capitalist society in the butt and be an incentive to reduce our plastic waste and pull back our cheap single-use culture.
The movement to reduce our impact on the world is growing! There’s hope for us yet!
Thanks for reading/watching!
Have a beautiful day cutting bat and reducing your consumption or at least be more conscious when recycling.
National Public Radio:
- Recycling Chaos In U.S. As China Bans 'Foreign Waste': https://www.npr.org/2017/12/09/568797388/recycling-chaos-in-u-s-as-china-bans-foreign-waste
The New York Times:
- Plastics Pile Up as China Refuses to Take the West's Recycling: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/11/world/china-recyclables-ban.html
Keiser Report: China’s ban on ‘foreign garbage’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3ul_cyFExo
- China's Top 6 Environmental Concerns: https://www.livescience.com/27862-china-environmental-problems.html
- The End of Plastic Has Officially Arrived: https://futurism.com/end-plastic-officially-arrived/