In her recent letter to the editor, Marcy Woodland encourages readers to decrease their plastic bags use to protect the environment. That may be fine for easily replaceable bags. But for plastic in general — as well as other consumer products made from aluminum, cardboard and other materials — we can have the best positive effect by recycling.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the recycling rate in the U.S. is only around 35%. If we increased to the standards enjoyed in some European Union countries, it would have the same benefit for the environment as removing 50 million passenger cars from U.S. roads.
Not only would we protect the environment, but many plastic items that are properly disposed of can be turned into clothes, carpeting, shoes and more. Woodland is correct: Plastics are forever. Recycling creates a way for them to be used again and again.
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