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Probably by now everyone knows that plastic bottles need to be recycled. But do you know why? Do you know what happens to the bottles that you just throw away?
Here is an illustration of the life cycle of a plastic bottle to help you understand it’s harmful effects if not recycled. Actually it’s a story of three bottles that were unceremoniously discarded:
Bottle number one, just like many other plastic bottles, ends up in a dump. The landfill expands as more trash comes in. The bottle stays there for many days, compressed between the many layers of junk and soaked in the rainwater. It absorbs some very toxic water-soluble compounds. Eventually this harmful stew moves into the ground and through it into the water. It poisons the ecosystem and harms the wildlife.
Bottle number two gets caught up in a stream that flows into the river and then the ocean. Over time it gets drawn into a Garbage Patch – a place in the ocean where the trash accumulates. There are 5 of them in the world’s seas and each of them is huge. They poison the fish, including the ones that end up on our plates.
Bottle number three is brought to a plant. Together with other bottles it gets compressed into a giant block which then gets shredded and melted, creating materials that can be reused. This way bottle number three can have a new life for example as the fabric in your clothes or the carpeting around your house.
So now you know what really happens to the plastic you throw away. Hopefully this video helped shed some light on why negligence to dispose of the plastic the proper way can pose a threat to both the environment and your health.