Let’s urge President Obama: Institute a nation-wide 10-cent can and bottle return policy, and begin phasing out disposable plastic drinking containers.

June 25, 2014 12:00 am all-day
United States of America

Sign the petition at http://www.change.org/petitions/president-obama-institute-a-nation-wide-10-cent-can-and-bottle-return-policy-and-begin-phasing-out-disposable-plastic-drinking-containers

Approximately 350,000 aluminum cans are produced in the United States every MINUTE. About HALF of those cans are recycled, compared to less than 25% of plastic and glass. According to www.honest.com in just 3 months, “Americans discard enough aluminum to completely rebuild every single commercial airplane in the United States.”

Plastics require oil to produce, are expensive to recycle, are drastically weakened when recycled, increase greenhouse gases, and contain many chemicals (including bisphenol-A, or BPA, and phthalates), some of which interfere with hormones in the body. During plastic production vast quantities of toxic waste are produced by treating them with flame retardants, plasticizers and organic compounds. Plastic bottles and bags are generally used 20-30 minutes before being disposed of. The campaign Ban The Bottle claims that “It takes 17 million barrels of oil per year to make all the plastic water bottles used in the U.S. alone.” According to Sierra Club, consumers trash a whopping 24 billion of these bottles each year in the U.S. alone. They last thousands of years in landfills, and the Pacific Ocean is one of the largest dumping grounds for plastics. Unknown numbers of sea birds, marine mammals, and fish ingest plastics which causes a variety of negative health effects. There are very few benefits of using plastic bottles, especially when compared to the negative side effects.

Implementing this policy will reduce landfill space by giving people an incentive to recycle, it will remove recyclables from our neighborhoods and from the natural environments, create jobs in recycling and processing industries, reduce greenhouse gases, reduce our reliance on oil and other natural resources, and help provide low-income people with more alternative sources of income by allowing them to collect returnables.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and www.nationalgeographic.com, “recycling an aluminum can requires less than 5 percent of the energy that would be expended in creating a similar can out of fresh bauxite ore.” It also is estimated that the energy saved by recycling a single aluminum can will run a TV for 3 hours. Bottom line: Implementing this policy will help solve the energy crisis.


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