Letter to the editor: We cannot recycle our way out of existing environmental damage
The proposed Save Our Seas 2.0 Act (Senate Bill 1982) is nothing but an absurd attempt to continue fooling ourselves into thinking that our attempts to catch plastics on their way out are enough to reverse the environmental damage already done. I encourage Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner, as well as all environmentally conscious Coloradans, to oppose this bill for its depressing lack of action.
This bill parades an optimistic facade that it will be a good first step toward a cleaner world. In reality, the bill is all talk and no action, and its passing will do nothing but distract from future legislation that has the potential for achievable systemic change.
Save Our Seas will not stop pollution at the source. It focuses instead on small recycling initiatives that will catch recyclables at the consumer’s end, rather than the producers. Although recycling should be a part of everyday life (the High Country Conservation Center has great resources on their website to make recycling as easy as possible), it will not solve the plastic pollution problem. A recent EPA report announced that our 2017 plastic recycling rate peaked at a dismal 8.4%.
The issue cannot be solved through consumer recycling, but through zero-waste initiatives from the source. I implore our Coloradan senators to truly consider the merit of this bill when it reaches the Senate floor in the upcoming weeks and to refuse to support a bill that is unsupported by what we know and unrealistic for any environmental change.
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