Aluminum Action Plan

Jun 27, 2018

To the Editor:

I listen to the debate about imposing American tariffs on imported aluminum and steel. Will these tariffs actually help or hurt the American economy? Should we reduce or eliminate tariffs on these items to our long-time allies, such as Canada? Are we starting trade wars that will affect other materials, such as agricultural goods, which the U.S. exports, for which we don’t know the consequences?

As an ordinary American citizen, I feel that these are issues beyond my control. One option I have is to vote for candidates who reflect my ideas on trade, but voting, policy change and implementation take time. However, there is one thing we can do, with immediate effect: recycle.

Currently, Americans throw away nearly $1 billion worth of aluminum cans every year. Recycling scrap aluminum requires only 5 percent of the energy used to make new aluminum from the raw ore. If not recycled, but put into a landfill, aluminum cans take at least 200 years to decompose.

To make a positive impact on your community, regardless of what our national trade policy is on aluminum and other materials, encourage recycling of all materials in your home, teach your family and friends the benefits from recycling, and the next time you take a walk in your neighborhood or on the beach, carry a bag to glean the recyclable materials and keep them out of the waste stream. You can make a difference.

Sandra McDade

Barnegat Light


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