Why so wasteful? Because we can. Because our abundance allows us the luxury of waste. Flight paths have to be carefully corrected in order to avoid crashing into this junk which is rocketing around the earth at 20 times the speed of sound. In order to protect the space craft from the debris, they must be made more impact resistant which makes them heavier. This extra weight in turn requires more fuel. We instead squander our last 50 years of liquid fuel miserably commuting individually. We spend even more fuel to create Genetically Modified Organisms for human consumption to replace the biodiverse plant life which was once abundantly available on our planet. The fruit of our abundance:
Earth now wears a trash halo.