In 20 years where do you think the U.S. will be? Will we still be producing waste? Will recycling have taken off? Or come to a stop? Will we still have landfills? How many? And will garbage be taking over our land?
The U.K. envisions their land as waste free in 20 years. Mike Walters, the waste and recycling manager for John Lewis, believes that in 20 years there will be no such thing as waste. Instead, he envisions the UK will simply have “end-of-first-life-material”. Meaning, the UK will switch solely to recyclable materials by 2033.
In 2011, Americans generated about 250million tons of trash and recycled and composted almost 87 million tons of this material, equivalent to a 34.7 percent recycling rate. In 20 years do you think the U.S. will be able to increase our recycling rate to 100% and decrease our waste rate to zero?
Several U.S. companies have already made movement towards more eco-friendly, recyclable materials. Some cities, such as Austin, TX, have even banned the use of plastic bags. Do you think other cities and companies will follow suit with this trend? Or do you think we will continue producing the same percentage of waste each year?
These are serious questions we need to be asking ourselves and other people. We need to join the UK in this movement, and find a way to turn our waste into “end-of-first-life-material”.