Over 250 million tons of trash is generated in one year in the United States, and only 13 percent is recycled plastic (*reference*). One person who sees first hand of how much Americans waste is noted plastic engineer, Mike Biddle. He started off as a trash man but, realized there could be a better way that people could recycle other than putting water bottles in a certain bin. In his Ted talk he discusses his new way of separating and breaking down plastic into pellets. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) believes that with everyone recycling there will be less greenhouse gases emitted. They also believe that with recycling there will be more natural resources available in the future. Lastly UXL Science discusses how recycling could boost the economy by allowing more jobs than both landfills and incinerating plants have to offer. The two articles enhance the Ted Talk by showing the importance of recycling also that recycling makes the world a more biologically safer place.
Across the world there are piles of material that could be recycled, but many consumers see it as junk and throw it away. The hardest part of recycling plastic is being able to separate the different types of plastic. As metal is easy to separate because of the simplicity of being able to determine what type of metal it is by finding its makeup and observing the color of certain metals. Most plastics have a different makeup, density, and various colors, which makes it that more difficult for recycling plants to try and separate it so it can be recycled. Mike Biddle used his expedition to the slums of Mumbai, India as a learning experience when he saw people trying to recycle plastic. When the workers couldn't figure out what different plastics were made up of they used the burn and sniff method which isn't the safest. Biddle patented his idea of grinding up the plastic in to small fingernail size pieces.