During class today, I learned about a new concept of recycling, down-cycling. Down-cycling is useful in that it allows the creation of a recycled product even after the plastic’s recycling cycle of once or twice to their original form. It basically extends the life cycle of plastic, preventing it from going into landfill. However, as great as it sounds, it does not solve the main problem. Eventually after its long life cycle (being recycled twice, and down-cycled), the toxic substances from plastic materials will be released into the environment.
Basically what I am saying in short is; “Although we claim that plastic can be ‘reused, reduced, and recycled’ and everything will be great if we follow these 3 R’s, in the end, plastic comes back to harm us and our environment.”
Learning about plastic today, I am not sure what to envision anymore.
I have been taught since elementary school that if everyone took their time and effort to use less plastic, recycle and reuse what I used, the world would change. However, despite many people around the world being educated about the negative impacts of plastic, I see many individuals and businesses not hesitating when using plastic. Working at a cafe, I often see people not hesitating to pay the extra 50 cents when being charged for a plastic cup. I see businesses use single-use plastic to wrap their food. If everyone is educated about plastic, know about the consequences, such as the endocrine disruptors in plastic, have the solutions in mind to solve the problem, why is it still a problem? When will we really be plastic-free?
I, as an individual, will continue to reuse, reduce, and recycle but what else is there as a whole that we can do to solve the problem that we have been working on for a long time?