Reducing, reusing, and recycling can help you, your community, and the environment by saving money, energy, and natural resources. Recycling programs are managed at the state and local level. On the national level, EPA is working to build an economy that keeps materials, products, and services in circulation for as long as possible, what’s known as a “circular economy.”
“In the grand scheme of human existence, it wasn’t that long ago that we got along just fine without plastic,” [Matt] Simon points out [in his book, A Poison Like No Other: How Microplastics Corrupted Our Planet and Our Bodies]. This is true. It also wasn’t all that long ago that we got along just fine without Coca-Cola or packaged guacamole or six-ounce bottles of water or takeout everything. To make a significant dent in plastic waste—and certainly to “end plastic pollution”—will probably require not just substitution but elimination. If much of contemporary life is wrapped up in plastic, and the result of this is that we are poisoning our kids, ourselves, and our ecosystems, then contemporary life may need to be rethought. The question is what matters to us, and whether we’re willing to ask ourselves that question (emphasis added).