Is Recycling Even Worth it?

Ever since I was little, I was taught the three Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle. My fourth-grade class was even taken to a recycling plant where we received recycled color changing pencils and learned about the dangers of littering. A lot has changed since then.

I’ve learned a lot, like why people use so much plastic? (because it is made to be the convenient choice) Why most food establishments give out and waste so much plastic (because it’s cheap) Most importantly though, I’ve learned why all of my generation’s efforts to “go green” hasn’t made the world better but it is actually getting worse: the problem is much bigger than us.

Sophia Marston https://unsplash.com/photos/bZI7Wj_KoWw

Most of the damage done to our planet is caused by big corporations sending out mass amounts of pollution. These companies don’t care that the planet is dying; all they care about is money. According to The Guardian, “Just 100 companies responsible for 71% of global emissions” (Tess Riley). Think about that. 100 companies. This begs the question, is recycling my water bottles worth it? My answer: yes. Here’s why.

In this case, you are presented with two options, (three if you include becoming a lobbyist for climate change, which I am certainly not willing to do) you can do something or do nothing. This means that you can either stand passively by while our planet quite literally dies, or you can induce the fourth R: refuse.

Sarah Pflug https://burst.shopify.com/photos/metal-straws-in-jar?q=metal+straws+in+a+jar

Stop using single use plastic!!! I know, it’s hard. Like I said before, it’s convenient. It’s made that way by companies who don’t care about the environment. Do little things at first, like buying that pretty Starbucks cup (and actually using it). Invest in some reusable straws and shopping bags. Say no to plastic bags if you can carry something. Be creative, people. We only have one planet, a beautiful planet. So, is recycling worth it? Maybe. But refusing is always better.

Tess Riley. “Just 100 Companies Responsible for 71% of Global Emissions, Study Says.” The Guardian, 10 July 2017.