Hopperstad 1 Hannah Hopperstad POS 205 International Relations Meyers 24 August 2018 The Rise of Waste Levels and the Threats it Produces Throughout the world, trash is accumulating everywhere, producing 2.13 billion tons of waste each year ( The World Count ). By 2100, the produced waste rates are estimated to triple ( The World Bank ). This waste is frequently disposed of in ways that are harmful towards the environment, and towards people. Annually 1.4 billion pounds of waste ends up in the ocean ( 4ocean ). National Geography states, “ Of the 8.3 billion metric tons that has been produced, 6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste. Of that, only nine percent has been recycled. The vast majority—79 percent—is accumulating in landfills or sloughing off in the natural environment as litter. Meaning: at some point, much of it ends up in the oceans, the final sink” ( National Geographic ). Countries such as the U.S. utilize incineration and landfill tactics to dispose of waste, whereas some countries have more efficient processes than others. Historical evidence shows which processes are the most harmful but many are still being held in action in modern day. To deter the harmful effects on the environment produced from degenerate amounts of waste, the global community should utilize more efficient methods such as plasma gasification, and charging for accumulated waste. One reason trash rates are increasing is because waste management is treated is a business. The end goal of these companies is to make money, rather than reducing the amount of waste by recycling. “With our growing populations, our growing industries and our growing addiction to consumption, extreme amounts of waste are produced on a daily basis and thus our
Hopperstad 2 landfills are filling up at alarming rates” ( All Africa) . To demonstrate, landfills are commonly used as a way to get rid of trash. The trash is stored underground layered with clay or plastic on top to keep in the trash. In reality, these landfills can result in atrocious effects towards to the environment. For instance, the air and land is poisoned by landfills, which contributes to the issue regarding climate change. Landfills are underground and do not let in any oxygen, because methane gas is produced during the decomposition of trash. Methane is toxic towards the environment and “ about 25 to 72 times more potent than carbon dioxide”( Greentumble ). Furthermore, there are four common types of landfills: municipal waste, medical waste, special waste, or hazardous waste; each of them contribute harm to the environment ( Toxics Action Center ). In like manner, incineration is another way to get rid of waste, but releases hazardous chemicals into the air. This also produces toxic ash, which then must be transferred into a landfill. Toxic action center states, “ Incineration does not eliminate waste; it simply redistributes
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