Plastic waste is overwhelming our planet, clogging our landfills, our waterways, and even our bodies with tiny microplastics. One solution that's meant to lessen this burden (though nothing is as good as simply going plastic-free) is to prioritize recycling.
But rich countries like the U.S. don't want to deal with recycling in their own backyards. Instead, these governments often ship recycling to countries with fewer financial resources
- leaving them to shoulder the intense burden that we're pointedly avoiding.
Now, a new analysis
from the United Nations is showing this problem is even worse than previously thought. In fact, it turns out that rich nations have been exporting around twice as many plastics to poorer countries
, compared with what we previously thought.Recycling is important. That's why wealthy nations need to take accountability for their own plastic trash and take on the burden of processing recycling themselves! Sign the petition!
Leaving recycling up to nations that don't have the geopolitical power to say "no" is unethical - and a risk to public health
in those countries. Plastics contain carcinogens and other poisons and must be handled carefully. And many times, recycling doesn't even occur, because it's too expensive. Instead importers frequently burn the plastics or toss them in landfills to contaminate the earth and water.
Nations that export huge amounts of plastic waste - including the U.S., Japan, U.K. and also the European Union - must take responsibility now. They must stop sending recycling overseas for processing elsewhere, and instead deal with the waste problems their own residents created!Sign the petition!