Waste is a world-wide problem because it leads to the death of over 400,000 animals every year and is also partially responsible for deforestation. Waste is also a major cause of greenhouse gas emissions, which impact greatly on global warming. Every year Americans and Australians combined create an average of approximately 1365 kilograms of waste per person; this amounts to approximately 75 million tonnes of waste every year. Considering that Australia and America combined only have 5.3% of the world’s population, the amount of waste produced by these countries is far too much. Recycling is the solution to our waste problem, recycling reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions we produce, it prevents the deaths of hundreds of thousands of animals every year and it eliminates the need to cut trees down for paper.
Australia is the second highest producer of waste per person in the world at approximately 650 kilograms per person per year. This is second only to the United States America, which produces approximately 715 kilograms of waste per person per year. The average Australian family of four people makes enough rubbish in one year to completely fill a three-bedroom house from floor to ceiling. Australians produce over 18 million tonnes of waste every year. That is the equivalent of three million Transpacific Cleanaway trucks full of compacted rubbish. About one half of all of the rubbish that goes to landfills in Australia is from households. It is time Australians became more committed to recycling.
Americans are a problem too. They represent 5% of the world’s population, but generate 30% of the world’s garbage. In sum, Americans waste or cause to be wasted nearly 1 million pounds of materials per person every year. This figure includes 3.5 billion pounds of carpet landfilled, 3.3 trillion pounds of CO2 gas emitted into the atmosphere, 19 billion pounds of polystyrene peanuts, 28 billion pounds of food discarded, 360 billion pounds of organic and inorganic chemicals used for manufacturing, 710 billion pounds of hazardous waste and 3.7 trillion pounds of construction debris. Americans throw away enough garbage every day to fill 63,000 garbage trucks, which if lined up end to end for an entire year would stretch half way to the moon.
Recycling is a process to change waste materials into new products to prevent waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy usage, reduce air pollution from incineration and water pollution from landfilling by reducing the need for conventional waste disposal and lower greenhouse gas emissions as compared to plastic production. Recyclable materials include many kinds of glass, paper, metal, plastic, textiles, and electronics. The composting or other reuse of biodegradable waste—such as food or garden waste—is also considered recycling. Materials to be recycled are either brought to a collection centre or picked up from the curb side, then sorted, cleaned, and reprocessed into new materials bound for manufacturing.
Waste pollution could be avoided if more people recycled. In the Pacific Ocean right now there is a floating garbage patch called a gyre. This garbage patch is currently three times the size of the state of Texas. This is not the only gyre in oceans and is just one of the many results of waste pollution and incorrect waste disposal. Every year approximately 100,000 sea turtles die due to plastic waste and the chemicals in plastic waste, even though plastic can be recycled. Turtles aren’t the only victims; currently around 1.5 million Laysan Albatrosses that inhabit Midway all are found to have plastic in their digestive system. Around 12,000 seals also die every year from suffocating on plastic waste in the ocean. Waste pollution due to items that aren’t recycled also affects humans. Poor air quality can kill many organisms, including humans. Ozone pollution can cause respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, throat inflammation, chest pain, and congestion. In addition, water pollution causes approximately 14,000 deaths per day, mostly due to contamination of drinking water. This is only a small portion of life that is effected by waste pollution
Clearly waste is a massive problem in our world that not only affects humans but also affects everything on our planet. The obvious solution to our waste pollution is recycling. Recycling reduces the amount of our natural resources trees, metals and minerals which are used to make new products. Recycling also reduces our greenhouse gas emissions which then lessens the impact on global warming. In addition, recycling will lessen the amount of animals that are killed every year by waste pollution. Support this campaign to show you agree that recycling clearly needs to be a priority for Australians and Americans. Help create a better and healthier earth for our future generations; if we don’t start recycling we will be left with nothing and there will not be a future generation.