Is Recycling Paper Enough?

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By: Rachel Chadwick

In today’s world recycling is something that we need to be more aware of. Recycling is a HUGE way to decrease the amount of garbage that goes to landfills and positively affect global warming by helping to reduce pollution. Only about 34% of trash is actually recycled. Schools are proven to be big contributors to the amount of pollution that is produced because a lot of the time they only recycle paper.

Yes, recycling paper is good, but it’s not enough. Schools need to recycle everything that they can, from plastic bottles to aluminum pop cans. Just this little change would help the environment especially since many students carry around plastic bottles and pop cans at school.

Schools teach kids to recycle plastics, cans, paper, etc, at home, but they don’t follow through with that idea enough during the school day. When at school, kids have gotten used to throwing paper in the recycle bins while plastics and pop cans get thrown into the trash. The habit created by schools could eventually carry on at home to the point where kids throw away their plastics and cans without even realizing it.

Each year 33 million tons of plastic gets thrown away, and only 9% of it gets recycled. Many schools contribute to the 91% of unrecycled plastic because they do not recycle plastics and cans.

For the past few years FHN was only allowed to recycle paper in recycling bins. Recently, a change was made to allow plastics and cans to be recycled in the same recycling bin as paper. Very few people know about this switch because the school has not made a big enough effort to let people know about it.

Teachers have tried to fix the problem by creating their own recycling bins in their classrooms, but still kids continue to throw plastic and cans away out of habit. The only way to really make an impact is to thoroughly enforce recycling through the entire school.

A solution to the problem of schools only recycling paper would be to make every classroom have a recycling bin for plastics and cans. Once those bins are full the teacher can then return them for cash, when applicable, and then they will be able to use that money for their classroom.

Schools can also place recycling bins for plastics and cans around the school in hopes that kids will take the initiative and recycle because they know it’s what’s best for the environment.

Recycling is important and is definitely not something that should be overlooked by FHN as much as it is right now.

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