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Why Not an Economy of Recycling? by Amelia Modrak

The facts are there. Only 5% of the total plastic that is being produced is recycled, and a similar trend applies to the glass, metal and paper. The rest goes to its final destination: the landfill or the Ocean; or, speaking from a biological point of view, to the Ecosystem, with all the detrimental consequences attached to it.

plastics-recycling

Not surprisingly, we – the Cities’ inhabitants – impassibly observe, day by day, the mass extinction of species, without much concern about it. Images shown in the media about dead birds, dolphins and whales at the sea shores, whose stomachs have collapsed due to the heavy toxic burden, exposing a miriad of plastic and metal pieces, such as bottle lids, cling film, nylon webs, plastic bags, tin rings, etcetera, do not agitate the souls of nowaday’s observers anymore. But why?

We live in a World of Futility, where nothing has a real value, for it is to be used and, later on, discarded. This extends to human relationships too and, scaringly, it is on the rise. However, the remains are there. They look at us as like ghosts that claim for justice. Meanwhile, the perpetrators try to hide the body of evidence under the soil, in the landfills. But, as we all know, the truth will always triumph, and will slap us finally on the face. It always does.

However, there is another way: the way of recycling, which not only could save our Planet from destruction but also re-activate our decaying World’s economy by “growing” new things for the “economical growth”: by producing new things from used plastic, metal, glass, wood and paper.

As a proof, here are the words of an expert in this issue:

“In theory, metals can be used over and over again, minimizing the need to mine and process virgin materials and thus saving substantial amounts of energy and water while minimizing environmental degradation. Raising levels of recycling world-wide can therefore contribute to a transition to a low carbon, resource efficient Green Economy while assisting to generate ‘green jobs’”

UN Under Secretary-General Achim Steiner, UNEP’s Executive Director

sofa-made-from-plastic-bottles

Nowadays, almost everything can be recycled into other items of daily use. Plastic bottles can be converted into furniture (armchairs, sofas, lamps, even beds) as an example. They can also be turned into toys for the children. Glass bottles, as well, can be reconverted (candle holders, plant pots, food containers, etc.) and so the metalic tins, which can be transformed into houseware (mirrors, decoration for the walls, etc.)

Moreover, furniture and kitchen items can be obtained from plastic containers. Plastic and metal food wraps, on the other hand, can also be magically transformed into bags, purses and other ladies’ wear.

Taking into account the turnover that women carry out annually on their wardrobe, it is worth considering the recycling of clothes and plastic as an alternative to save money. Moreover, if there was a real interest and concern from the governments and population, a “Second Economy”, based on the production and sale of items made from recycled materials could add to the prevalent economy, thereby providing jobs and, at the same time, performing the outmost important task of removing the plastic, metal and glass-derived garbage which threatens the future of life on Planet Earth, our home.

Amelia Modrak

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