There are about a billion different topics I could write about the piss me off and that I am passionate about so it was difficult to decide what to discuss. However, after I saw a giant empty bottle of Dr. Pepper sitting ever so disgustingly on the grass outside of campus I knew I found my topic. I think it’s pretty easy to see that we use an unbelievable amount of plastic. Next time you bike, ride the bus, or drive your car, look out into the ditch and see all of the plastic bags and water bottles. Look in the garbage cans outside of campus or outside of a cub or target. We could also make an example out of the people who carelessly litter those things all around town but my main point is that they are literally everywhere.
The waste makers.
Americans alone used about 50 billion plastic water bottles last year and only 23% were recycled. Sadly enough, this doesn’t even account for the bottles of soda Americans drink each year. The average American drinks about 38 gallons of soda each year. 320 million people X 38 gallons = 12,160,000,000 gallons of soda. Now not all of those 12 billion gallons will be plastic bottles but you should know a decent number will be plastic bottles. On top of the bottles, every year there is 500 billion plastic bags used worldwide or over a million used every minute. Now these statistics may very from site to site but there is no denying the fact that there is an issue here. Where does all the plastic go? You guessed it.. in our ditches, in our lakes, in our oceans, and in our landfills. Only a small percentage of the bottles get recycled. Some people might not be able to go out of their way to find a place to recycle and there are others that simply don’t care. For an example of this, next time you go to a chipotle, look at the disposal methods they have lined out for you. They will have at least three different places for you to put your trash. They will have a landfill bin, a recycling bin, and a compost bin. There are the occasional people who will take the two seconds needed to separate their trash but almost every single time I see this, people will just throw their stuff in any bin without a care in the world.
What can be done?
Luckily enough, the solution is pretty simple; it just takes a little conscious effort. All you need to do is to stop buying plastic bottles. The solution for this is to purchase a refillable water bottle. Many people believe bottled water is better for you than tap water or filtered water from a water fountain. The companies that produce water bottles love hearing that from people but this isn’t necessarily true and if you think it’s true, go out and purchase a water-filtering device and use that. The second thing you should do is to BYOB; bring your own bag whenever you go shopping. Whether it’s going to the mall or going to Cub, bringing your own bag(s) will decrease the amount of plastic being used dramatically. It feels good knowing that the solution is so easy, it’s just the issue of getting people to care.