You finish your bottled water, so you throw it into the blue recycling bin. Great! You’ve done your part in contributing to help our environment right? Well, we may think our plastic from bottles or containers is being recycled, the reality is that much of this plastic just ends up with other garbage in landfills. So what’s the point of recycling? Experts say that it’s important to do so, yet we aren’t doing it the correct way because the plastic industry has managed to market the idea of recycling to be environmentally conscious. They want to make us think that it’s fine to use plastic and that there will be no damage to the planet as long as we recycle. 

According to experts, in order to fix this recycling problem, we all need to work together to make improvements. If you want to do your part here is what you can do. Instead of constantly purchasing plastic water bottles, buy a reusable water bottle instead of plastic. With a reusable water bottle, you can just refill it whenever you want and you are helping reduce the amount of plastic being thrown out. Another idea you should take into consideration is to look for alternative sustainable versions of products you use. For instance try buying the unpackaged version of the items you like or don’t buy it if you don’t really need it. 

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Harry Brake
June 24, 2021 2:07 am

Dear Yamile:

I am interested and in agreement of the value of your post “What Happens to the Plastic that we Recycle into Blue Bins?” because I think of this often as well. I have seen commercials of how straws, plastic lids, and other plastics get bundled up, and shipped to other countries, not being recycled at all, OR finding their way into our oceans as a result of slipping through recycled processing machines. It makes me feel defeated when I am trying to do the right thing!

One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “Instead of constantly purchasing plastic water bottles, buy a reusable water bottle instead of plastic. With a reusable water bottle, you can just refill it whenever you want and you are helping reduce the amount of plastic being thrown out.” I think this is correct because this reduces the amount of material we are putting into the earth, This is my question, I am afraid of where to get the water, to insure it is as clean as the bottled water I am purchasing (how do I really know the bottled water is exceptional as well?) SO I am thinking, it is probably the best move to purchase a filter for my faucet, would you agree?
Another sentence (actually questions) that reached out to me was: “So what’s the point of recycling?.” This stood out for me because I think until more people in the community realize the value of recycling AND making sue the items are being recycled, then things will not change.

Have you seen this video on a plastic shredder? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9OuNUuVbdI   I obtained this idea from this idea found here:    I thought you might be interested in this because I have been entertaining the idea of obtaining a shredder to shred the plastics that cannot be recycled. Then I would like to move onto the step of turning those shredded bits into useful items. I am stuck. I need to find a place that can help me obtain or build a plastic shredder to provide this service.  I am still working on that first step.  

Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because this topic is important and valuable to the world around us. AND I do believe ideas like this can cause new initiatives and opportunities for youth to create businesses and see how an idea can benefit the world around us – through first ideas, then action. 

Last edited 1 month ago by Paul
March 26, 2021 10:29 pm

Dear Yamile,
I have found your post very interesting. All this time, I have been doing my part and recycling to better the environment, but now you are telling me that I am actually doing more harm than good? Even though this was surprising to me, I agree with you that we should stop using recyclable water bottles and start using reusable water bottles. It will be hard to eliminate all plastic products, but it is a good start. Thank you for bringing awareness and giving some solutions to this problem. I look forward to reading about more ways that we can avoid plastics from ending up in the ocean.

Harry Brake
Reply to  Daniela
June 24, 2021 2:17 am

The second link I forgot to include is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dP1s7viFZHY&t=9s

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