Today is America Recycles Day, but does America recycle enough?

In 1997, America Recycles Day was created as a project to improve recycling in the United States. Here's what you need to know.

On November the 15th, America set their sights on sustainability and the environment, known as America Recycles Day (ARD).

The purpose of the movement is stated on their website: ‘ONE DAY to educate. ONE DAY to motivate. ONE DAY to make recycling bigger & better’.

As part of the ‘Keep America Beautiful’ initiative, it is a day which invites Americans to get involved in an event, which is focused around increasing recycling. This includes the option of organising or attending an event.

These events range from random sports medal and candy wrapper recycling, to ‘give your plastic bags a second life’ drop-off points.

Plus, citizens are encouraged to take the pledge: learn, act and share. Ultimately, the day is dedicated to raising awareness about the currently unacceptable rate of recycling.

More than this, it is a day to intervene in the every day lives of Americans, by calling to action the importance of recycling, and alerting individuals that it is within their power to make a positive difference.

But what about the other 364 days of the year? Does the knowledge and action get carried past the assigned day? Or get put in a box to be returned to the following 15th of November?

Unfortunately, the U.S. government has no recycling law which spreads across all states. Instead, it depends upon individual states and local governments to create and supervise laws.

Yes, individuals come together in taking small steps towards living more sustainably on this notable day. However, organisations must get on board for widespread recycling to really take off.

As the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) appreciates, there are multiple challenges facing the recycling system in America today. Hence, the EPA pledge to help organisations unite in collective action to bring about the benefits of extensive recycling.

There is a summit on the 15th of November, where stakeholders sign the pledge. This year (2019), the meeting will be held in Washington DC.

The purpose of the event is described like this: ‘We look forward to engaging with fellow leaders as we chart the path forward to a more resilient U.S. recycling system’.

But are you convinced by this pitch proposed for the annual meet-up? Does the future of sustainability genuinely look brighter thanks to America Recycles Day? Only time will tell…

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