Reduce plastic use and you have to recycle less
As stated in a previous article from the Daily Herald, Kane County opened a third permanent recycling center in Aurora this June. This facility will be used for the recycling of electronics, appliances, clothing and scrap metal -- all things that are difficult and inconvenient to recycle.
It is important that Kane County invests in environmental protection initiatives like this one. Recycling finite resources such as metals is particularly important. However, taxpayer dollars could have been used to fund projects that reduce waste rather than reuse the excess we produce. This is especially important for single-use plastics such as polystyrene foam, which is polluting our local waterways. Eleven million pounds of plastic ends up in Lake Michigan, our most valuable freshwater resource, every year.
While recycling may seem helpful, it is as effective as putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound.
It's time for Illinois to be proactive, not reactive, regarding our single-use plastics problem. Reducing the amount of plastic we use would lessen the need for expensive recycling centers. Illinois citizens deserve cleaner water to drink and nature without plastic.
This can be achieved by banning the usage of polystyrene foam cups and takeout containers statewide.
We have to prioritize reduction over reusage. Our public health and wildlife rely on it, and the people of Illinois deserve it.