Recycling: Friend or Foe?

Billions of pounds of marine debris enter the oceans every year.  With most of it being plastic, there is a need to reduce or completely refuse single use items. NAMEPA West Coast spent an afternoon at one of the most technologically advanced Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) in the southwest to learn recycling best practices.

Refusing, Reducing, Reusing are the best ways to decrease the amount of marine debris entering the ocean daily, however with specialized plants such as the one NAMEPA visited, recycling is still an option.   The goal of these specialized facilities is to conserve resources through reuse and promoting sustainability.

These advanced MRFs receive recyclable materials and through a combination of mechanical and manual sorting separate commonly grouped as plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and glass containers.  Materials are then prepared for end-user manufacturers to maximize the quantity and quality of the product in order to generate the most revenue.

As technology continues to advance, the MRFs ability to remove more trash from the landfill and send it in a direction where it can be reused will ultimately help keep our oceans and waterways trash free.   Most importantly is education about recycling and what can (or cannot) be recycled in your own region is one of the ways you can have impact, do your part and Save Our Seas.

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