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For nearly two decades, every November 15 has been proclaimed America Recycles Day, in an effort to make the country more sustainable through the reduction of waste.
It’s estimated that each person produces nearly five pounds of waste per day, and most of it is not recycled.
The waste usually ends up everywhere, from landfills to the environment, which has experts concerned about the world’s sustainability.
The Conservation International group estimates 17.6 billion pounds of plastics enter into the world’s oceans each year, and by 2050, the pollution could outweigh all of the fish in the sea.
Biologists believe that over 1 million marine animals are killed every year because of plastic pollution.
For the items that end of in landfills, the outlook is just as dire.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates a piece of plastic may take hundreds of years to degrade.
The slow decomposition rate is yet another reason why environmentalists stress the importance of recycling.
Recycling programs have been around for decades, but the EPA says there is still plenty of work to do to grow their popularity.
The agency reports that the recycled waste rate has grown from around 7 percent in 1960 to 32 percent in recent years.
For those wanting to increase their recycling habits, the EPA has several suggested tips.