One of the biggest con jobs foisted on the American public is the idea of plastic recycling. Americans of all political persuasions have dutifully sorted their trash into separate receptacles and smugly thought they were doing their part to save the planet. The most obnoxious would stop and berate others as to why they were not recycling.
It turns out that recycling plastic was just another farce that duped millions of people in wealthy countries. These people, who consume enormous amounts of energy that “threatens our planet,” needed an environmental cause in which they could participate.
Recently a Greenpeace report made clear how foolish this enterprise was. Our national recycling rate for plastics is a measly 5%. The report states that plastic waste is extremely difficult to collect, almost impossible to sort for recycling and is not economical to recycle.
Fortunately, paper and cardboard do have a high recycling rate near 68%. Much of the plastic waste however does end up in landfills across our country and around the world.
Too many people want simple solutions to large issues. Buy a plane ticket and pay 3 extra dollars to plant a tree and you can absolve your sin of spewing airline fuel emissions into the atmosphere. Fly a private jet and plant 10 trees and all is good. Wear a cloth mask and Covid is held at bay. The amazing part is the “in your face” fanaticism of these people. They yelled at people for not wearing a mask while they wore a cloth mask that had the equivalent effect of stopping mosquitos with a chain link fence.
There is no harm in joining causes that are important to you. We all have issues that tug at our heart strings. We must, however, remember that people who do not share our passions are not acting in an unethical manner. We need to remember the old English proverb; “Live and let live.”