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Action Needed: The Case for Recycling

Saturday, August 01, 2009 by: Rachel Breet Richmond
Tags: recycling, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) The general population is aware that recycling products like plastic, oil, batteries, and paper is very helpful and good for the environment. The recycling bandwagon was back in full swing during the later part of the 90`s, and then slowly subsided because of the hassle of putting it into action.

The hassle of recycling has many avenues, as with most things that require work on being environmental conscious. The numerous comments that there was not enough man power and recycling centers to handle the out pouring of people eager to "save our environment" was the main hassle. "Save our environment" is a catchy slogan and still used today, but only a limited few totally understand how and why it saves our environment.

Once it came right down to putting recycling into public practice, government officials were gambling that the fad would not last long. Without enough recycling centers, statements by officials that there was "no scientific proof" of harming us or wildlife of any kind, and by requests from waste management professionals for manpower, the new recycling kick died. In a few states and counties, state budgets forced through recycling efforts. With all things though, it takes money to save our environment, and most of those projects are now dead. Is it going to be money that saves our environment and not actual work to be aware of our environment?

With more scientific proof coming out every day over the last ten years of what the benefits are to recycling, you would think that a resurgence of recycling would occur. There are articles, magazines, and data to back up the need to recycle, especially plastic. The knowledge that the public has related to recycling plastic is information to make the resurgence in recycling happen; however, right behind that is the information to debunk it. Has anybody ever thought to ask why?

Plastic is a very easy commodity to manufacture. Plastic is in almost everything we buy and involves substantial money. Think about all the things made from plastic and what we use every day. So how in the world could it be harmful if it is so easy to manufacture, produce, and throw away?

As with everything that we know about recycling, from just ten years ago to the present, the components that make up plastic have toxins that are unseen to our naked eye. Check out the information Earth911 (http://earth911.com/plastic/plastic-101/) has collected and put into a chart. Listed on their site are what the numbers mean for recycling and why they put them there. It allows recycling centers that are scarce to begin with around certain areas know what they can accept it. Each plastic component has a different degree of toxins.

Big warning and caution lights should be flashing right about now. Do not jump on the bandwagon just yet; understanding and thinking are still required.

The recent article coming from Scientific America concerning Plastic Not-So-Fantastic (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cf...) illustrates that sixty different scientist all with different backgrounds and loyalties to different industries and science, confirm the poisoning in various forms, but stress more research is required.

The quotes below need to be examined fully to understand why the need exists to bring back resurgence in recycling.

(1)*Chemicals added to plastics are absorbed by human bodies. Some of these compounds have been found to alter hormones or have other potential human health effects.
(2) *Plastic debris (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cf...), laced with chemicals and often ingested by marine animals, can injure or poison wildlife.
(3) *Floating plastic waste, which can survive for thousands of years in water, serves as mini transportation devices for invasive species, disrupting habitats.
(4)*Plastic buried deep in landfills can leach harmful chemicals that spread into groundwater.
(5)*Around 4 percent of world oil production is used as feedstock to make plastics, and a comparable amount is consumed as energy in the process.

Here are a couple of other oddball observations:

1. A. There is a major population boom happening right here in the United States and we know the figures have jumped in the last two years. In the article, they want to study children up to the age of 21 to find out the real long-term side effects.

First of all, there are women out there who have been trying for years to get pregnant. Doctors continue to try and help them by stabilizing their body`s hormones. Let us take a look at those figures and data before more time runs on harmful side effects. Humans consuming plastic products might be inadvertently creating the next phase of evolution by the changing of DNA. Worse yet, mankind could cause a bottleneck of existence. (Learn more about a bottleneck at: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101...)

2. B. There has been a known major issue concerning the oceans of the world when it comes to plastic debris. We know of the dead zones in the oceans and the fact they are getting larger. Add to that the overall releasing of toxic fumes and the cause it does to our Ozone Layer.

There is a study going on right now to put quicklime (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-quicklime.ht...) in the oceans. Common sense should tell you that this is a terrible idea. Having a mix of all those chemicals added to the elements known and not in the oceans, plus the degree of possible concentrated areas of pollution, should be a strong concern.

The best possible resolution to the ocean debris is to pull up those blue plastic gloves and to go pick up some trash. Bring it back to land and haul it to the recycling center. That of course will require effort again: work, time and money.

3. C. We have known for a number of years now that introducing invasive species to different habitats can cause adverse side-effects. The most commonly document case is "Rat Island."

Well, this issue is going to be very difficult to "undo" simply because nature always finds a way around "obstacles" for evolution: hence the population boom that is happening right now and also why Rat Island is still Rat Island.

Again the easiest resolution is to pick up the trash and dispose of it correctly. Pray and observe that evolution has not found a way to beat the clean up process.

4. D. Groundwater (http://www.groundwater.org/) is our very precious life giving element. Groundwater found in the aquifers underneath us only has two ways to develop: quickly and slowly. The process has been happening for thousands of years. It is not possible for humans to replicate this process.

Burying trash is an exciting concept. Rome use to do it, but a little thing called disease and famine struck because their own trash, that was nowhere near as toxic as ours, seeped into the water.

Ask yourself this: What is the quickest way to get anything into your own body? The answer is through a liquid form.

The releasing of toxins, as the plastic decomposes in the ground, has to go somewhere. In this case, it goes into our contaminated and depleted water supply.

The Colorado River (Check out more on the Colorado River Basin at: http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/Ce-Cr/Color...) receives water from everywhere seen and unseen. The Colorado River is the resource for millions of people in the western part of the United States. Scientists' own studies reported to the United States Department of Agriculture point out: Mining of ground water reserves to sustain agricultural production is temporary(3).

The overwhelming data gathered on groundwater since the late 1990`s is staggering and we have already passed dangerous levels. The levels in which we have reached critical have come down to our own urine being recycled and monitored by independent state agencies. Remember that state agencies are on budget cuts. This is scary information about our groundwater.

Start to understand this information. We have plastic debris that has already been recycled by the Earth itself, causing the leftovers to seep into the ground. The depleting groundwater is refilling with toxins that have seeped into the ground. Now, adding into the mix that water is so depleted, there has been little choice left but to drink our own recycled urine (3). This is overwhelming, to say the least.

Recycling is looking better and better for plastics.

5. E. Our water consumption is indirectly affected by livestock raised for food. Food livestock are drinking unmonitored water from holding ponds. The business of our society involves enormous money, but agencies and groups do exist that promote the knowledge of actions to help reduce the contaminated food for humans and domesticated animals consumed regularly.

Begin to understand why places like Vegan Societies, holistic shops, Farming Sanctuaries, and awareness groups exist. Getting information out to the public is never easy. Get past the preconceived notions that are ingrained as to what they are and find out for you why and what they are and do. Understanding the information is important.

While our society is still learning to adapt old ways of living to newer practical ways of living, the areas commonly referred to as green living, healthier living or penny pinching living, everyone has a different need and taste on what is comfortable to do now and in the future. These are powerful concepts and practiced in a variety of forms because of those differences.

While it is great to recognize that changes have to happen, just know that even your small changes make a difference. Whether it is your lifestyle, becoming active in promoting recycling, or learning more for your education, all of those small changes count.

While science is still seeking more planets that have the similar atmosphere, particles, and qualities found here - Earth is the only planet we occupy. Taking small steps is necessary when it comes to saving our environment, our Earth, our home. It is not about the money to continue to be made. Money has not saved us from the decimation and quality of living conditions that we are currently struggling with now as a society.

Become more aware of the balance at work in nature. The biggest surprise that you will see will be the increase of quality of life for each of us and our families. Cross-reference and question any information presented. Experts still do not have all the answers and neither do doctors. This wealth of information should be incorporated into the daily quality of life.

Starting off small in the area of recycling has great advantages to the issues we face together. Let's clean up Earth and make change happen for the betterment and quality of life.

Scientific American http://www.scientificamerican.com/
Earth911 http://www.earth911.org
The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight by Thom Hartmann, pp. 94-95

About the author

I am a freelance writer who with interest in environmental, health, and non-profit organizations. You can view more of my work at http://www.thebreetreport.com and my website at http://www.breetreport.com.

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