Letter | Korthase: Regarding Susan Knopf’s Op-ed, ‘Waking up to our plastic world.’
September 16, 2018
Regarding the Op-ed in Friday's Summit Daily by Susan Knopf, "Waking up to a plastic world."
Ms. Knopf's article opens with a lengthy detail of the floating plastic islands in our oceans. It is a terrible problem, agreed, and should be cleaned up immediately. No question there. She then trots out a tired litany of 1960's Earth Day clichés "The Six R's". Very cute, however, after 50-plus years of recycling pop bottles, and rinsing zip lock bags, the garbage island continues to grow.
Recycling (American Style) it turns out is very inefficient. We separate a handful of our refuse into separate containers, (which are then transported by a separate fleet of big diesel trucks, but that is another story) then toss the rest (lots of plastic) into the trash. The bottom line is we waste a lot of energy recycling a handful of our garbage while the balance goes into the environment, and environmental commentators such as Ms. Knopf applaud our fine effort.
A high percentage of refuse here in Summit County is generated by visitors. Does Ms. Knopf really expect a family visiting from New Jersey to be carrying reusable shopping bags (made from petroleum in China, but that's another story) when they visit for a week of skiing? Not going to happen.
We need to throw out the tired old rhetoric. Here's an idea: how about if we throw all our garbage into the garbage can (oh the horror). That's right, it all goes into one can, and is transported by one truck (reduced carbon footprint), and is transported to a processing center where everything (that's right, everything) is sorted and recycled.
Nothing goes into the ocean. What a concept.
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