Hesperian Health Guides
Some Waste Does Not Go Away
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HealthWiki > A Community Guide to Environmental Health > Chapter 18: Solid Waste: Turning a Health Risk into a Resource > Some Waste Does Not Go Away
Waste is a problem almost everywhere because we make so much of it. And, as we see all around us, waste made from plastics, glass, and metal does not go away.
Food and other goods were once wrapped in natural or reusable materials, such as banana leaves or newspaper. Containers and other useful things were made from clay, wood, or other materials taken directly from the earth. When they were discarded, these materials did not become trash, because they quickly decayed and returned to the earth.
Now, with industry using materials such as plastics, metals, and chemicals, most manufactured products become trash when we are done using them. Everything from bottles, buckets, and bags, to cars and computers is made of materials that are strong and light, but that take a long time to decay. Packaging things in cans, bottles, and plastic bags makes them easy to transport and sell, but it also creates much more waste.
The life cycle of a plastic bag