I went to India a few years ago and saw many wonderful things. But this was not one.
However, China recently decided that the mixture they received from us and other areas throughout North America were too contaminated to be useful to them. In other words, that greasy pizza box, those unwashed cans of baked beans, those paper plates from the picnic with the residual potato salad on it all has added up to undesirable trash.
It is time we realize we haven to stop exporting our garbage to China…or anywhere….and take responsibility for it. So, how do we compare with other nations?
So, how can we here in the United States and more specifically, in McMinnville, improve how we handle our trash?
We have to understand that just because the piece of plastic says it is
Oh sure, there are some items that are recycled from plastic. Some toys, some decking and other outdoor furniture all hold up well. But by and large, we are not addressing the manufacturing market on this issue here in the US.
Other nations are ahead of us. Perhaps it is poverty that drives creativity.
Perhaps there are issues with building codes, but it is amazing to see the way people in Mexico and Central America are developing low cost housing options that use plastic, either melted and formed into interlocking bricks or building a frame with wire to hold soda bottles and then stuccoing the exterior!
When I saw these houses, understanding we have a different climate and building codes, I believe we might have a low cost solution for housing the homeless. We certainly have plenty of plastic.
Another exciting use of plastic is turning it into a paving medium. Whether is it low-tech like this road in India
or this higher-tech version being considered in The Netherlands, perhaps potholes could be a thing of the past.
It appears that we could take advantage of our 50 year dependence on plastic to build a new industry here in the United States that will improve infrastructure issues.
But now, we also need to REDUCE our use of plastics. This will be the significant step to getting this world wide trash problem under control.