Recycling has benefited many communities by reducing waste and preserving the environment. The process of collecting and processing materials instead of throwing them away involves a cycle of materials collection, sortation, and re-conversion back to raw materials.
These materials are then used by manufacturing companies to make new products. These items can be integrated into other products or sold individually on the consumer market. Nowadays, virtually anything can be recycled. The bottles you consume water from, newspapers you read, and t-shirts you wear are just a few examples of items made from recycled materials.(more…)
For many years, China grew to become the world’s largest importer of recyclable materials. The rise of single-stream recycling in the U.S., which saves Americans the headache of sorting their recyclables, passed the headache on to Chinese processors. As a result, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment cited environmental damage caused by "dirty wastes or even hazardous wastes" mixed in with solid waste that can be recycled into raw materials. The country has now placed strict standards for what it will and will not accept from other countries. In one fell swoop, China essentially changed the entire world market.(more…)
Recently, the U.S. federal government has shut down, leaving national parks open, but largely unmanned. Beginning on December 21, trashcans and toilets in our nation’s national park have been overflowing and trespassing has been reported.
The issues have become so bad, that the Department of the Interior announced that they would dip into funds collected from entrance fees to pay for trash clean up, restroom maintenance, and additional law enforcement patrols. However, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) responded that using entrance fees would divert badly needed funds from the park service’s massive $11 billion maintenance backlog. In addition, only 117 of the more than 400 national parks collect fees. This means that hundreds of parks will have to compete for funds. The NPCA has not responded on how much funding will go to each park.
California has recently become the first state to ban plastic straws in restaurants. Beginning in 2019, customers will have to ask for straws if they want them. They will no longer be offered without asking.Other places, such as Seattle, have also joined this movement. In July, Seattle became the first major US city to ban single-use plastic straws and utensils.Even some big corporations, like Starbucks, Aramark, and American Airlines, are making the move to ban plastic straws.