“Every day should be America Recycles Day! For me, recycling has been a lifelong passion. Over the years, I’ve recycled everything from a Ford Explorer to small electronics and holiday lights. More recently, I donned an old DelDOT fluorescent yellow vest and spent a few hours filling up 45-gallon trash bags with litter along a highway onramp near my home. Whether we’re recycling or cleaning up litter, we can all do our part to make planet Earth a more beautiful, habitable place for all.
“Sadly, though, our national recycling rate is only at 35 percent—and at the same time, we’re facing a global plastic pollution crisis. Shocking images of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—a mass of marine debris more than 300 times the size of Delaware—have helped to increase awareness about reducing single-use plastics and improving recycling. But, at the rate we’re going, experts predict that there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish by 2050. If we don’t act now, it won’t be long before our beaches are overwhelmed with plastic bags and other waste that washes ashore.
“While I encourage everyone to recycle, I also know that encouraging Americans to recycle is not a silver bullet to the growing challenges we face. From the rampant production of single-use plastics to the litter overflowing our landfills, we need wide-reaching solutions for the challenges we face. We need to reduce and reclaim the materials we use before they become waste.
“When done right, recycling is something we can all do to protect our environment, support job creation, and grow our economy. This America Recycles Day, let’s remember our shared responsibility to reduce waste, reuse materials, and recycle.”