Recycling Soft Plastic is essential for the environment
Plastic is absolutely one of the biggest pollution issues of our times and more focus on recycling soft plastic is required now. Social media is constantly showing us pictures of oceans, lakes, and rivers with plastic floating and sinking into our waterways. We now know that marine life is consuming plastic, making it suffer, become ill, and die, or passing the plastic on to use when we consume it. It is said that now even table salt has plastic in it.
We know about all the methods to reduce and contain plastics in the waterways. We find recycling receptacles at our disposal and recycling collectors will take our plastic away. But what about the soft plastic? Countries are starting to ban soft plastic bags, which has its redeeming points, but why can’t we also step up the programs and facilities to collect and recycle soft plastic? Most people are just throwing it out and this is heartbreaking when you think how much each person generates each day, especially in the more developed countries.
In most cases, recycling services don’t pick up soft plastic. Condominiums often don’t provide a bin to collect soft plastic for removal and recycling. Although some grocery stores are now offering bins in which to collect the soft plastic, most businesses, institutions, recreation and community facilities, shopping malls, etc. do not offer anything. This must change as soon as possible.
We are at a critical point when it comes to both soft and hard plastics. The soft plastic must be collected before it hits the landfills and gets so dirty that no one will want to touch it. At least the hard plastics can be picked out of the landfills, washed and eventually recycled. The time to properly recycle soft plastics is before they become contaminated with sticky food and chemicals.
Part of the problem is that cities farm out the collection of recyclables to private companies, who don’t provide the service to collect soft plastic and frankly don’t often care enough to separate the soft plastic that some people do recycle, so it ends up in the landfills. That is why citizens have to take on the responsibility themselves right now to make sure that the soft plastic ends up where it should.
What to do. We can start pressuring those in our workplaces, and local and federal governments for more facilities to collect soft plastic. We can ask stores that sell soft plastic and are not collecting it where is their recycling system and threaten not to shop at their store until they put one in place. We can keep asking institutions and facilities the same questions until it becomes commonplace. We can ask for more recycling facilities that accept soft places to be placed throughout our cities and make sure we are aware of the ones that exist. We can limit single-use plastic purchases through our purchases, or pressure manufacturers to cut down on their packaging. See examples of resources for cleaning our earth in Canada and internationally to inspire you to search locally at https://managingearth.com/. Also, visit the Managing Earth Pinterest Page on Recycling.
So please keep separating your soft plastic and do whatever you have to do to keep it out of landfills and put it to good use through recycling. We will benefit from your efforts now, as will generations to come!