Our World is Trash... Literally

Updated: Sep 15, 2019

We're joking, but actually we're not.

Written by Myles Shin

Illustration by Vibhu Venkatesh

As our society is turning more and more into a consumerist society, we produce so much more waste. In fact, every year, we produce over 2 billion tons of waste and this number is on the rise.

Out of all the waste, a whopping 242 million tons was plastic. I know, I know. This already sounds bad, but it gets worse. 91% of all plastic is thrown away instead of recycling and it takes over 400 years to degrade.

Why haven’t we done anything to stop this? Well, it’s just a matter of people not caring enough.

It’s not a surprise that the countries that produce the most waste are the most developed ones where people over-consume. The United States nears the top the list nearly producing a quarter of a billion tons of trash a year. Geez. That’s insane. It needs to stop.

While our world has become more conscientious about the environment, there is still lots of work to do. We need to focus on trying to lower our waste production and trying to recycle as much of it as we can.

Sources for more info:

Byrnes, Hristina, and Thomas C. Frohlich. “Canada Produces the Most Waste in the World. The US Ranks Third.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 12 July 2019, www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/07/12/canada-united-states-worlds-biggest-producers-of-waste/39534923/.

Dufour, Fred. “A Whopping 91% of Plastic Isn't Recycled.” National Geographic, 20 Dec. 2018, www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/07/plastic-produced-recycling-waste-ocean-trash-debris-environment/.

Koh, Ann, and Anuradha Raghu. “The World’s 2-Billion-Ton Trash Problem Just Got More Alarming.” Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg, 11 July 2019, www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-07-11/how-the-world-can-solve-its-2-billion-ton-trash-problem.

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