Rosy days of reycling are gone

It’s looking as if we might have overreached ourselves when it comes to recycling ambitions. According to news reports, a lot of recycling simply doesn’t pay. Worse than that, it’s putting companies in the hole and they are getting out of the business altogether.

The good times ended when China decided it didn’t want to keep buying our throwaway junk. It’s being stockpiled and nobody wants it because there’s no money in it. This of course includes huge amounts of plastic packaging.

Even with recycling at its peak, too much plastic was floating around the world and getting into places where it shouldn’t be. Now? Now we’d better start re-thinking how much of it we use.

Take plastic shopping bags. They are handy, but completely unnecessary. They are also littering every ditch on every roadway in Alberta. They are clogging the bush and floating away in the creek through Slave Lake, to end up who knows where. They are blowing all over the countryside and hanging from trees, out of reach, mocking us for our wastefulness and sloppiness.

The same goes for paper cups (and their plastic caps); totally unnecessary and a huge source of litter. We could cut back so much of this junk and reduce the amount going into landfills just by taking reusable bags to the grocery store and refillable cups to the coffee shop. It’d be a nice start.

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