• Myles Shin

Today I Learned... Our World is Trash... Literally

Our planet is littered with tiny, clear plastic bottles floating throughout all of the seven seas. Unless we, as humans, collectively agree to try to prevent pollution and clean up our pollution, our world will continue to spiral down a dark hole of an unsustainable world. As our society is turning more and more into a consumerist society, we produce so much more waste. In fact, every year, we produce over 2 billion tons of waste and this number is on the rise. Out of all the waste, a whopping 242 million tons was plastic. As horrible as this already sounds, it gets worse. 91% of all plastic is thrown away instead of recycling and it takes over 400 years to degrade.

Why haven’t we done anything to stop this? Well, it’s just a matter of people not caring enough. People don’t want to go and rinse their shampoo bottles in order to recycle it or even just don’t know what is recyclable or not. It’s not a surprise that the countries that produce the most waste are the most developed ones where people overconsume. The United States nears the top the list nearly producing a quarter of a billion tons of trash a year. While our world has become more conscientious about the environment, there is still lots of work to do. We need to focus on trying to lower our waste production and trying to recycle as much of it as we can.


Byrnes, Hristina, and Thomas C. Frohlich. “Canada Produces the Most Waste in the World. The US Ranks Third.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 12 July 2019,

Koh, Ann, and Anuradha Raghu. “The World’s 2-Billion-Ton Trash Problem Just Got More Alarming.”, Bloomberg, 11 July 2019,

Parker, Laura. “A Whopping 91% of Plastic Isn't Recycled.” National Geographic, National Geographic, 20 Dec. 2018,