On July 18th, 2017 China, the world's major importer of global recyclables, announced that it will no longer accept imports of 24 categories of solid waste. This is a part of the country's campaign against "Yang Laji", or "Foreign garbage"
The Ministry of Environmental Protection says restricting such imports will protect the environment and improve public health. Scrap and waste is the sixth largest U.S. export to China.
I don't know abut you, but I find that rather disgusting. Why should China be our country's dumping ground? How would you feel if China was dumping all its trash on us?
The reality of the situation is that the day has now come when there is no more "away". Just because Seattle Public Utilities hauls away all myr recycling every other week , doesn't mean that it really goes away.
This "disappearance" is a warm, fuzzy illusion and always has been.
It is time to question and question deeply, why we, as a society feel we need to use all this plastic, especially single use, in the first place.
Is it *really* more convenient? Do you really need that cling-wrap to protect your food when a glass jar will do? Do you really need to use a plastic toothbrush when a compostable, bamboo toothbrush will do ? Do you really need that bottled water? Really? Seriously? Why? Have you forgotten how to turn on the tap?
Here at Deb Goes Green, I have been asking these questions for a long time. And as my regular readers know, I have been slowly weaning myself off of single-use plastics for over a decade. And you know what? My life has not become one of deprivation. If anything, it is become one of more abundance.
"One way forward might be to limit its (plastic) functions. Many disposable items are made from plastic. Some of them are disposable by necessity for hygiene purposes – for instance, blood bags and other medical items – but many others are disposable for convenience." -The Conversation
Yes. Convenience. Our Sacred Western Mantra. Another word for "lazy."
We in the West have a lot of thinking to do. Why we should feel that we deserve to use all this single-use plastic then dump it on other countries really is the height on arrogance, in my opinion. Basically, we need to make a decision that unless we can dispose of our garbage cleanly, hygienically, neatly at home, that we forgo using that item.
In the next series of posts on Deb Goes Green, I will be posting just HOW you can achieve that in your home, by breaking down each area into Zero-Waste Zones.