For most of my life, I have been a thoughtful recycler.  Tin cans, cardboard, plastic, paper.  Separate the materials and even rinse out food containers.  Dutifully bring it all to the recycling center.  I did write a long time ago that I had given it up.  Old habits die hard.

Recently an episode of CBS Sunday Morning had a segment on the lie perpetuated by the plastic industry that their materials are recyclable.  They stamped on the 3-arrow symbol and we thought we were doing our part to mitigate landfill use and preserve the environment.

Here is that segment, just a few minutes in length.

Why am I so Irritated?

Because I and a lot of people spent significant time and effort in recycling, just to find very little result.  And just like fraud victims, the feeling is like being scammed.

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So what should we do with all this Plastic?

The Ocean Cleanup is an ambitious project to sweep up plastics from the ocean surface, and capture plastics from rivers before it goes out to sea.  This is a good first step.  But what do we do with this waste material?

I watched videos where Ocean Cleanup had shown how the discarded plastics can be processed into little pellets of the raw material and then repurposed into sunglasses.  Why not other uses?  How about to pave the roads, with a slightly bumpy surface for traction?  Homes could be built from plastics and insulated with plastic pellets.  The different types of plastic won't matter since it will all be shredded together and made into one material.

I can hear the environmentalists now.  "This will just disintegrate into the environment over time and pollute everything!  Microplastics get in the water, in the fish and in the fish we eat!"  Well that's happening now, so what's the difference?  All I'm suggesting is repurpose, recycle the plastic into useful items.  Isn't that the purpose of recycling as a principle?

What are your thoughts on this idea?  Is it feasible?  Would you invest in it?  Should the plastic and oil industries chip in, since they fed us this line of lies in the first place?

LOOK: Stunning animal photos from around the world

From grazing Tibetan antelope to migrating monarch butterflies, these 50 photos of wildlife around the world capture the staggering grace of the animal kingdom. The forthcoming gallery runs sequentially from air to land to water, and focuses on birds, land mammals, aquatic life, and insects as they work in pairs or groups, or sometimes all on their own.

Gallery Credit: Nicole Caldwell

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