In a recent Ask Umbra article, one reader didn’t know if they should leave a littered bottle on the beach to become part of the beach or if they should take it home to be recycled. In Grist, Umbra breaks down the options for the reader to help them understand glass recycling.
Grist has Ask Umbra’s response to the reader:
Q. Dear Umbra,
Okay, I’m walking on the beach (a beach where few people walk, and no kids), and I see a large brown beer bottle that drifted in on the tide. If I leave the bottle where it is, the next incoming tide will smash it to bits on the rocks, and the bottle will eventually disintegrate and become a part of the beach. But the beach will be less scenic for a while. If I take it home and put it in my recycle bin, a certain amount of excess energy will be used to make new bottles from the old. The recycling truck will burn gas or diesel; the recycling plant will burn energy. Yet I’ve been schooled to recycle. Should I leave the bottle on the beach or bring it home?