The process of recycling waste has been seen as the main approachtowards dealing with the problem of environmental degradation.However, research has indicated that recycling alone may not beenough to deal with the problem of pollution and environmentaldegradation. The process of recycling non-biodegradable materials hasbeen inefficient and analysts suggest that it serves no purpose inalleviating environmental pollution (Griff, 2010). Whereas Americanshave largely been encouraged to recycle their waste, it is becomingevidently clear that the consumerism behavior amongst the Americansis extremely high. As a consequence, the amount of waste that ends upun-recycled still remains high. The consumption level by theAmericans has contributed to immense degradation of theenvironmental, as well as increased pollution.
The process of recycling materials has also been a subject of debatein regard to the hazardous materials that are put in the landfillsawaiting processing. Numerous landfills have been constructed in theUnited States that are considered a danger to health by medicalpractitioners and public health officials. People who live nearlandfills are prone to air pollution from the toxins that arecontained in the waste materials (Griff, 2010). It is thereforeapparently clear that the benefits associated with recycling plasticsmight outweigh the health damages associated with the recyclingprocess.
In the economists view, it is apparent that the recycling process isa costly process whose cost outweighs the benefits recycling has forthe environment. The process of recycling plastics has been a hugechallenge for the Environmental Protection Agency. It is vital topoint out that the plastic must be sorted before recycling (Morgan,2009). In other words, all the plastics collected from the recyclebins cannot be recycled together. As a consequence, there arenumerous instances where the sorting does not occur effectively andthe whole process ends up being jeopardized. The air pollution fromthe trucks transporting the plastics to the recycling plants, as wellas the smoke emitted by the machines that recycle the plasticscontribute immensely to environmental pollution.
It is not all the plastics that are recycled. Research has indicatedthat it is just a small percentage of the waste plastics that arerecycled. This adds to the debate of the effectiveness of recyclingin preserving the environment. A vast majority of the plastics end upas waste material and continually pollute the environment (Boustead,2007). The culture of repackaging by the American people has been ahuge factor in polluting the environment. It is clear that theAmerican people have been using the aspect of recycling as a methodof presenting themselves as significant conservers of theenvironment. However, it is critical to note that there is more thatneeds to be done.
The recycling process cannot be relied upon as the only measure toreduce waste produced by the American people. The EnvironmentalProtection Agency must ensure that Americans reduce their consumptionlevels and that the culture of extreme repackaging is eliminated(Griff, 2010). Whereas recycling cannot be underestimated as ameasure to protect the environment and reduce waste materials, it isimperative to enhance the process, which appears to be ineffective.The government, through the Environmental Protection Agency mustensure that all the plastics are collected and recycled (Boustead,2007). Reduction of emission of gasses by recycling plants shouldalso be acted upon by the government. Although the above measure mayreduce non-biodegradable waste, the reduction of the use of plasticsin packaging seems to be the ultimate solution.
Boustead, I. (2007). Problems in Packaging – the environmentalissue. New York: Chichester/John Wiley.
Griff, A., L. (2010). Is recycling good for the environment?
Morgan, S. (2009). Waste, recycling and reuse. London: Evans.