I have been diligently rinsing and sorting my plastic, paper, glass, and aluminum recyclables for years. When I throw a disposable coffee cup or a styrofoam container away, I feel a twinge of guilt, because "no local recycling facilities exist" for these materials. I feel good about my recycling activities - no - I feel great! I am a recycling superhero! Hooooaaaaaa!
But wait. Canada has been shipping tonnes of recyclable plastics to China for decades, you say?
That's not right. They are BURNING Canadian plastic in Malaysia? https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/plastics-recycling-waste-overseas-marketplace-1.5292512
No wonder other countries consider North Americans to be spoiled, inconsiderate mega-consumers (we are, let's not kid ourselves.)
We are placing our trust in government institutions and faceless recycling businesses to actually do what they are promising to do with re-usable materials. We are redirecting recyclables from landfills, thinking we have done our duty, and instead, it is being left on someone else's doorstep. But it's not someone else's doorstep. We are all citizens of the same Earth, and its ecosystems are all inextricably linked:
I don't know about you, but I didn't ask for my toothbrush and my bananas to come packaged in layers of plastic.
I didn't ask for an Amazon box that is ten times as large as it needs to be to ship an item the size of a tennis ball.
Make all of these organizations accountable. Make stickers, purchase stickers, draw on it with a Sharpie, then recycle it. We will track where your "recyclables" ended up.
Copy the following image and print stickers for your recyclables. Or go to the following link to order:
We will track all replies we receive! We can all do something to reduce the waste that is burdening Earth's ecosystems. Knowledge is the first step. Grassroots action matters. JUST DO IT.