Recycling is a process through which you can convert waste into something new and useful. Some decades ago, it would not have become a vogue as it has now, however the wastelands, the accumulation of garbage and other concerns have shifted the focus on recycling as an important solution to waste disposal concerns. Recycling is safe, easy to do and also ensures that energy, water and other resources are readily conserved. Even though recycling has become important in recent years, the efforts put into it need to be compounded for the proper treatment of garbage and proper disposal of waste. Here, we are listing reasons you should recycle for a cleaner and greener future!
Helps Conserve Resources
At the crux of it all, recycling allows conservation of resources. This is one of the primary reasons why we should recycle. Considering the fact that the earth has limited resources, some already in a shortage, it is important to try our best to use them judiciously. For example, you can easily recycle paper and cardboard which can help in saving trees. Similarly, recycling plastic and other products can help reduce usage of oil. In entirety, recycling helps in eliminating the need of making materials and products from scratch, which in turn boasts of many other benefits. Extracting new raw materials can be expensive. By recycling, we negate the need of extraction which helps in the overall conservation of resources such as trees, water, metals etc.
Recycling Reduces Carbon Emissions
Recycling also helps in reducing the overall carbon emissions that have many negative repercussions on the earth. At its core, recycling helps in the reduction of greenhouse gases, which, if not treated, would result in combustion. This would result in further heightening of already existing environmental concerns such as global warming and ozone layer depletion. We are at a stage where it is important for everyone to contribute towards the cause of minimising the impact of pollution and emissions on the environment. Recycling allows for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions which inadvertently lead to a reduction in energy consumption. Researchers also agree that especially in the case of plastics, recycling and remanufacturing can save at least 30% of overall carbon emissions.
Recycling Prevents Pollution
The process of recycling can also help reduce overall pollutants level. Recycled items can be used in place of virgin materials for manufacturing and production. This helps in the overall environmental damage that is incurred. For eg. producing recycled white paper results in 74% less air pollution and 35% less water pollution than using virgin materials for the same reason. Similarly, using recycled cans for extracting iron ore helps in reducing air pollution by 95%. It also produces 97% less water pollution. In other instances, recycling tends to be 194% times more effective in overall waste reduction in comparison to landfilling and other manufacturing mechanisms. This drives home how important and relevant recycling is for the current times.
Recycling Reduces Wasteland Accumulation
The current trends surrounding waste disposal are seeing steep rates by the day. This rapid increase suggests that waste accumulation is going to translate into overflowing waste mounds in the coming days. It is thus important to find a concrete solution to this ever-increasing problem. Recycling can serve as a viable solution to the problem. On an average,
On an average, an approximate 60-70% of waste found in landfills can be recycled. The more you recycle. The less garbage ends up being present in incineration plants. It is advisable to keep reusing aluminium, paper, glass, plastics and other materials in order to reduce environmental degradation.
Recycling Contributes in Biodiversity Conservation
In essence, pollution puts every aspect of life on earth in jeopardy, be it animals, plants or even humans. Using recycling as a means to curb this problem comes out to be one of the only plausible solutions. Increased and ready usage of recycling eliminates the risk of expansion of wastelands into the forest areas, eliminating marine pollution and reducing the risk of deforestation. This allows the overall preservation of natural habitats, forests as well as rainforest which are all homes to biodiversity. Thus, using recycling as a viable option to reduce the exploitation of resources. It also helps preserve biodiversity habitats which contributes to conservation.
Recycling Saves Energy
Recycling contributes a lot in the overall conservation and saving of energy resources. The process of extracting and processing raw materials requires a lot of energy. Recycling in turn does not need so much exertion. Research suggests that recycling even 30% of waste every year can result in saving an astounding 11.9 billion gallons of gas. Similarly, greenhouse gases can see a reduction in gases equivalent to taking around 20 cars off the road. The overall reduction of energy usage due to decrease in production requirements and costs goes a long way in conserving energy and preserving it for future uses. Thus, it is impossible to negate the impact of recycling on energy and other resources.
Increased Job Creation
Recycling inevitably takes place in industries where employees and labour is required. This means that increased requirements for recycling would lead to a need for recycling industries as well as employees. More recycling plants thus means more jobs. In a statistical sense, recycling crests ten times more jobs than the usual landfill and waste management. Research has shown that recycling 14,000 tonnes of waste ends up creating 9 jobs, composting the waste creates 7 jobs, but just landfilling the same creates only one job. In the United States alone, recycling activities help in creating 757,000 jobs and produce $36 billion in wages each year. Thus, recycling is good for the environment as well as the economy.
Recycling is a Less Expensive Alternative
Recycling as a whole also contributes to overall cost-cutting and is less expensive in comparison to waste collection and disposal. Research suggests that in most metropolitan cities, it is 6 times cheaper to dispose of recycled waste than it is to generate refuse. This shows that when you recycle more, you save more money. This inevitably has an overarching positive impact on households, businesses as well as local services. Additionally, recycling food and green waste can also contribute significantly to overall environmental conservation. This ensures that you generate valuable compost. You can use this further to grow more food and crops.
Accelerates sustainable technological advancements
As pressure with regards to environmental conservation increased, it has to some extent, forced brands and companies to look towards adopting more sustainable business models and practices. This in turn has forced industries as a whole to adopt and develop new technologies in order to reinforce the importance of eco-friendly practices. What is also important is to ensure that these eco-friendly practices reflect in the line of products and overall policies that the company propagates and adheres to.Finding new means of recycling products by the R&D teams of companies is becoming increasingly important as consumers become more environmentally aware.
Underpins Demand Creation
In the larger picture, recycling and purchasing recycled products allows the ramping up the demand of more recycled products which in turn helps in minimising waste. This has positive effects on the economy. This also allows us to engage better with recycling programs which can provide a stronger drive for the supply and use of recycling products. Market statistics suggest that recycling industries globally are raking around $100bn revenue each year. Demand for recycled plastic has observed some significant shifts in the past few years. This shift was driven by consumer sentiment, corporate undertakings and better environmental protocols. There has been a shift of this from a niche and ‘nice to have’ practice to a new norm. Recycling plastic has also become the second-highest packaging trend for 2020.
Prevention of Diseases
Poor disposal and waste accumulation in the landfills are harmful in nature. They let out dangerous gaseous emissions and toxins, which if inhaled, lead to many chronic respiratory illnesses such as asthma. Similarly, toxic liquids running off over landfills and entering water sources can cause many problems. They lead to an increase in diseases such as diarrhoea, typhoid and even dysentery. A shift from these traditional disposal and dumping mechanisms and adopting recycling practices will ultimately also have an impact on the kind of emissions being let out. This in turn will ensure that the harmful effects endured due to the diseases caused by these diseases are also reduced in impact.
Accumulation of wastes in landfills can have an adverse impact on groundwater and its quality. Landfill management companies usually do not take any significant effort to ensure that the waste in their landfills are treated. The usual practice is to throw waste in dug-up holes and bury the same. A lot of this waste is neither biodegradable nor eco-friendly. The surface run-off contaminants also find their way into groundwater, making it unsafe for consumption. By taking to recycling as a practice, companies can reduce this harmful impact on groundwater
Here it is! These are some of the reasons why you should recycle your stuff instead of buying new stuff every time. We are now clear that the benefits of recycling are many and all-pervasive. It is increasingly becoming a norm of the world to look towards recycling as the go-to practice to ensure a greener future. We must all realise the sheer importance of recycling as a mechanism. It is important to ensure that everyone takes recycling in their stride. We all need to be able to confidently move towards a more sustainable way of being.
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