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Customer concerned after taking closer look at landscaping outside business: 'This practice should be discouraged'

"[It] is just a method for corporate polluters to extract more profit."

"[It] is just a method for corporate polluters to extract more profit."

Photo Credit: Reddit

After sharing a controversial image of tire mulch, a Redditor sparked an environmental debate in the r/landscaping forum.

The photo revealed a section of ground covered in chopped-up tire pieces instead of traditional wood mulch. According to the Redditor who posted the photo, the image was taken at a local Firestone.

Fellow Redditors were frustrated to see the toxic plastic particles being used as a lawn alternative.

"Tires are one of the worst microplastic pollution sources out there," wrote one user.

"These rubber compounds are a major cause of the decline in salmon populations. This practice should be discouraged for a plethora of reasons. It's like littering," commented another.

"Do you have any idea how toxic that s*** is?" asked another. "Tire particles kill fish in rivers and streams. It's nasty, toxic, and deadly."

Recycling tires as mulch actually does more harm than good. Rubber tires contain harsh chemicals that break down over time, leaching toxins into the soil and waterways. 

Along with heavy metals such as aluminum, cadmium, and zinc, rubber tires also contain 2-Mercaptobenzothiazole and poly­aromatic hydrocarbons. When these chemicals enter ecosystems, they pose a risk to the environment and to humans. 

The toxins in rubber mulch have been associated with cancer, headaches, and nausea

"This is trash on the ground. I hate it," commented one user.

"It's not really stable as it constantly leaches out carcinogenic compounds, this 'recycling' scheme to replace wood chips and grass with plastic or rubber waste is just a method for corporate polluters to extract more profit at the expense of even our literal children at playgrounds and fields," wrote another Redditor.

"When [I] first got some at the store, the customers and colleagues were excited as it 'seemed' like it was permanent and reusing product," wrote one user. "Mulch will eventually decay- not this stuff and then how would you dispose of it? Especially when it's mixed up with things that will decompose."

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