We Americans love to throw stuff away. But one man’s trash is another man’s gold. Or, in this case, another country’s gold.
Global transactions for waste, that is countries selling their waste to other countries to be recovered and turned into profit, is a $443 billion per year industry.
When those giant shipping containers arrive here from China, filled with such things as electronics, we return them filled with compressed plastics, textiles, rubber and paper. Did you know the top U.S. export to China in 2011 was waste – valued at $11.3 billion? What a waste!
First, why do we waste so much? Second, why can’t we re-use and recycled our own materials, rather than shipping them to another country to do what we should be doing?
Isn’t it time to look at how we consume things and how we discard things a little more thoughtfully? It makes a lot of cents.
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