How Important is Recycling


There is no planet B. Earth is our home, and we should take care of our beautiful home, not destroy it. One of the biggest issues is the amount of plastic we use daily, and often we use it without a second thought. Now stop and think about this. Did you purchase something made of plastic? Well, many people say it’s only one plastic bag, straw, container, or cup. If everyone on this planet, all 7 billion plus people, each said it’s only one small plastic item, that’s 7 billion-plus plastic items now being thrown away on a much larger scale. Now that one plastic bag, straw, container, and or cup is no longer just one but 7 billion because we all said it’s just one it can’t hurt, but it does without you even realizing it.

Tech’s Sustainability club said “Recycling helps the Earth, which in turn helps us to live better. It helps to keep the earth a cleaner place and allows us to reuse what we already have instead of creating more waste.”

People don’t understand that plastic never goes away. Plastic does not decay. Plastic is still in the environment. You can’t see plastic with the naked eye because it’s so small. These pieces of plastic are called microplastic, and it ends up in our water supply and our food.  The earth is suffering. After all, as humans, we can’t take care of our planet because we have a throwaway mentality. The earth and the ocean have become our trash can. As of 2014, there are about 268,940 tons of plastic debris in the ocean. Scientists estimate that 80 percent of the one ton of plastic debris that enters the ocean originates from land-based sources. The marine ecosystem is suffering because of all the plastic pollution in the ocean. Did you know of plastic waste between 1950 and 2015, only nine percent of plastic was recycled? If we recycle more and use less plastic, then we can keep our oceans cleaner and protect marine life. You would not want someone to leave their trash in your house, so why would you leave it in the ocean? The plastic we have thrown away has ended up in our food. A quarter of fish sold worldwide at markets contain human-made debris. Marine life shouldn’t have to deal with our trash. 

The Sustainability club also said “Similar to why we should recycle, single-use plastics create more garbage. This garbage hurts our planet and environment. Sustainable living is a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earth’s natural resources. If we try to live more sustainably we will better our planet not only for ourselves but for our children and grandchildren.”

Keep using single-use plastics like coffee cups, plastic bags, and straws at this rate by 2050 there will be more trash in the ocean than fish. The situation we are in is ridiculous. We created plastic and used it at an unbelievable scale with no plan for how to deal with it afterward. People don’t know how bad the situation has gotten. Scientists have found plastic in the deepest parts of the ocean. Did you know a scientist saved a turtle’s life by pulling a plastic straw from its nose? It took the scientist about 3 minutes to get a 3-centimeter straw out of its nose. The video has started a movement called Save the turtles. Now, when people use straws, people think about the turtles and how that one straw affects their lives. And more people use reusable straws instead of plastic straws. This doesn’t just impact the turtle’s lives, it affects the entire ocean and every marine animal living there. Plastic is not just affecting the ocean, it’s also affecting us. Did you know that there is more plastic just sitting in landfills than in the ocean? Plastic is everywhere and takes hundreds of years to disintegrate to where the naked human eye can no longer see it. So why are we using it at alarming rates? Why haven’t we found a solution? How can we help? These are all questions we should ask ourselves. 

“In every building on Tech’s campus, there are recycling stations. We accept aluminum, paper, and plastic one and two. You can check what kind of plastic it is by locating the triangle-made arrows and finding the number in the middle. The Office of Sustainability also has a thrift store that is free for students in the University Service building to promote sustainable living.” Said the Sustainability club.

We can avoid most of the plastic we use. For example, bringing your reusable bag when shopping, not using a straw at a restaurant, using reusable napkins instead of paper, and not using plastic plates, cups, or silverware. Buying items at the store in bulk to avoid using more plastic. You can use shampoo and conditioner bars instead of bottles. The bars work just like a bar of soap and are equal to three medium-sized bottles and can last up to 90 washes, buying clothes from consignment stores instead of new or Shein. These are just a few ways you can cut down on your personal use of plastic. But there are so many more ways that are easy and cost-efficient and cost almost nothing. Like silicon bags instead of plastic bags, bamboo hair brushes and toothbrushes, toothpaste tablets, reusable makeup wipes, compostable phone cases, reusable water bottles and so much more. People think that it’s all or nothing, but really if you make a few minor changes you are helping, all it takes is just one person to make a difference. The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it. No one is too small to make a difference, everyone can do something. If everyone did something, then enormous differences would happen. People think they need to be all or nothing for the zero-waste movement, but millions of people are making small daily changes that have a big impact on our planet. You have a bigger impact on the planet than you may have realized. But as individuals, we can change our behavior, limit our use, and we can help reduce the amount of plastic. If everyone does their part in helping keep the planet clean, think about how much healthier everyone would be. 

“We recycle about 20% of our waste on Tech’s campus, which helps avoid a cost of $10,000 a year for the university. When waste goes to the landfill it costs money. If everyone does their part, though, this 20% can increase and we can do even more good for the environment.” Said the Sustainability club.

We all have an important role in protecting our planet. Will you be the change that we need in the world? And will you help by going plastic-free? Together we can save the planet, it all starts with minor changes to the way you live, and then you are on your way to creating a healthier planet. Remember that there is no planet B and the change you want to see in the world starts today with you.


Plastic on the beach
This is why recycling is important. So we can have clean beaches and a better environment. Picture from