By 2100, earth will have 11 Billion people on it. This means many things including a high level of waste generated. The amount of waste generated per person is rising with increasingly urbanized and disposable lifestyles. The average American tosses 4.4 pounds of trash every single day, with a cumulative of 728000 tons.
Even though recycling has increased over the years, but trash and waste production has also increased. A research conducted by Save On Energy shows that Nevada ranks at top in highest tons of waste per person. But California and Texas are leading respectively in terms of gas emissions from landfills. Six times as many water bottles were thrown away in 2004 than in 1997. Imagine how high the statistics would have gone up by now. There is 22 Billion plastic bottles trashed every year.
National Geographic Magazine reported that bugs like spiders consume trash in cities like New York and many other places. But the waste that these bugs eat are almost always food waste. Which leaves them at odds with plastic, cans and other materials.
Despite the fact that recycling bins and trashcans are placed all around the city, some people still choose to litter. And this can hurt the animals living in urban areas. PETA reported that empty food containers attract animals and insects because the smell of food is still present in them. However, the cans can cut or trap animals and insects trying to reach for food or parts of container can enter their bodies.
In another instance, the Humane Society of the United States has also warned about how littering can hurt animals, particularly marine life. The organization receives 14000 animals annually. All of them injured because of litter. Many animals confuse trash items like plastic bags, balloons as potential food source and eat it, only to be choked to death.
The Human Society also points out that tossing trash from car windows is dangerous as it increases the likelihood of road kills. Animals follow the smell of food and in trying to reach the food source, they end up coming beneath cars and squished to death.
In the end the problem comes to the basics- that there is too much trash being generated. It is causing problems for landfills, city governments and even animals. Animals adapt to urban jungles that we create but that doesn’t mean they will adapt to everything.