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Letter: Recycling is the best Earth Day gift

Bowers writes, "

A person holds a letter with the text "letter to the editor" overlaid on the image.

We all know how it feels to see a local beach or park filled with litter. But the eyesore is just the tip of the iceberg.

Consider a littered can. Aluminum is made from bauxite ore. Bauxite is harvested from open-faced strip mines. The process of harvesting the ore kicks up a cloud of red dust that kills nearby vegetation, ruining the livelihood of farmers in countries like Malaysia and Indonesia.

After the bauxite is harvested, it needs to be processed to form the can. The aluminum production process releases PFCs – gasses with a global warming potential up to 9,200 times stronger than carbon dioxide. Aluminum can production also emits twice as much carbon dioxide as a plastic bottle. According to Keep America Beautiful ’s litter survey, aluminum cans are littered nearly five times as often as plastic water bottles.

If that littered can never sees the inside of a recycling bin, all that pollution will have been generated for one single beverage. But, if the can is properly recycled, it can be reshaped to live another life. With recycling, single-use products are actually multi-use.

Ensuring that every can or bottle is recycled is the best gift you can give the planet this Earth Day.

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James Bowers is the managing director of the Campaign for Recycling Awareness.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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