The Story’s Not Being Told About Recycling


dead albatross plastic pollution
The unaltered stomach contents of a dead albatross chick photographed on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Pacific in September 2009 include plastic marine debris fed the chick by its parents.

“When will they finally see that it was never really worth it? When will this charade end?” — Bre Payton

The general public in each and every country on earth — especially those with the greatest environmental footprints — need to radically review their recycling practices. As per a recent study from the UK, we’re — collectively — in horrible shape on that score.

Every educator in the U.S. should address this issue, but — instead — they are touting (at best) local recycling programs… ineffective, insufficient token gestures at being environmentally correct. And with their minimal efforts, there’s absolutely no attempt to blend what local businesses are doing; they’re content, as a rule, to look the other way respecting private practices, focusing exclusively on their tiny little academic quarters… not doing a decent enough job anywhere for anyone.

Certainly, you’d be hard put to find an American teacher or administrator addressing what’s spotlighted in Sky News’ recent coverage of recycling. That mainstream media outlet provides a far cry from decent journalism, but their focus on the disgusting turn of events vis-a-vis shipping waste abroad deserves applause. [Pause.] More than documentation, however, needs to take place.

In fact, if we had virtually no other issues to deal with on the planet, the momentum taking place with the pace of our production of plastics AND our feeble forays into the realm of recycling would doom us… for sure.

All this begs the question of why we are not radically reviewing recycling. If you research under “Recycling Ineffective” or “Recycling A Waste Of Time”… or some such subject, you’ll note the paucity of recent reporting, the lack of articles that get down with what’s bringing us down; I was hard put to find anything more current than two years old. The story’s not being told.

The true story has to be told in educational institutions and quickly. And the youngsters who are properly informed about what’s happening with our consumerism need to help their loved ones at home to self-educate.

What are kids learning (and why), I’d like to know, if the story’s not being told about recycling?

Rachel Olivia O’Connor is a member of the Oxman Collective. She can be reached at [email protected]. This article was written in ten minutes flat, and submitted without editing, to underscore that fact that we have unacknowledged deadlines which we are not meeting regarding recycling.




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