Over the past several decades, pollution in the United States has increased dramatically, causing harm to the citizens of the nation and the ecosystems around us. In fact, from 2016-2018 alone, air pollution increased by nearly 6% throughout the nation. But to worsen the issue, the United States produces the largest amount of plastic pollution in the world, with 35 million tons annually. To combat the issue of pollution, Congress must create a policy to minimize pollution created and reduce the amount of dangerous waste entering the environment.Despite many recent movements toward recycling and clean energy sources, the United States continues to struggle with pollution. Since 2000, over 1.5 million tons of plastics have been recycled, but, on the other hand, 7 million tons of plastic were landfilled instead.

If Congress creates a new policy for industries to recycle or reuse items, we can drastically reduce the waste entering our environment. However, pollution also has a human cost, as air pollution was linked to over 196,900 deaths in the United States in 2019. Gina McCarthy, a former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, says the U.S. is “not doing enough” to fight pollution, and as a nation we are “moving backward.” Nevertheless, the U.S. can still work to fight pollution and require clean energy and safety precautions to reduce air pollution as well.As a whole, pollution is a serious problem facing the nation. Although the U.S. has issues with different types of pollution in our environment, we can work together and use governmental policy to reform the way we treat pollution. Gradually, the United States can begin to clean our ecosystems while preventing future pollution, helping create a brighter future for the nation.Bennett CalcagniFalmouth High School student

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