In the United States alone, each consumer produces approximately five pounds of waste daily, and much of it ends up in landfills. This massive waste production cannot continue forever. The planet does not have infinite land to house it.
A large portion of the waste can and should be recycled. Simply recycling your plastic, aluminum, and cardboard lessens the strain on landfills and reduces the need to make more of these substances. Recycling is an invaluable tool to reduce pollution and preserve natural resources.
Process of Recycling
Most recycling follows a basic process that includes collection, sorting, and manufacturing. People usually have the choice of using curbside pickup or central drop bins. Depending on the service, recyclers may need to sort their items into plastic, paper, glass, etc. Motivated citizens need to make certain that much of their recyclable waste is collected.
This collected waste is taken to a recycling center where a more stringent sorting process takes place. All items are sorted into their specific category so that contamination does not take place during the manufacturing process. A glass bottle in with plastic or plastic in with cardboard can lead to serious difficulties later in the recycling process.
Finally, the items go through a manufacturing process that transforms them into usable raw materials. Paper is broken down into small fibers so it can become writing material, packaging, etc. Plastic is melted so that it can be molded into new shapes.
Benefits of Recycling
Recycling has many individual, geographical, and global benefits. On the individual level, people who recycle feel a sense of pride in protecting the planet. On a practical level, they may pay less for their garbage pickup when they remove their recyclable items from their general trash.
Geographically, recycling reduces the need for landfills, which can be an unsightly addition to your city or town. Also, landfill contents can leach into the water table and contaminate the soil despite numerous government regulations.
Globally, recycling in the U.S. helps the country’s standing around the globe. Some other countries are ahead of America in their recycling efforts and see it as unfairly damaging the world’s natural resources.
Reasons Why Recycling Will Help the Planet
Recycling helps the planet by reducing reliance on landfills and preventing discarded items, such as plastic bottles and straws, from being swept into the ocean or introduced into the natural habitat of wildlife. Plastic straws are already harming sea turtles and other animals by becoming lodged into their shells or impacting their digestive systems.
Recycling also cuts down on carbon dioxide emissions since it reduces the need to produce more plastic. Greenhouse gases are largely responsible for global warming, which is negatively affecting ocean levels and the world’s climate.
Recycling paper means fewer trees are cut down to make new paper products. As a result, everyone enjoys cleaner, healthier air. Trees also fight dangerous climate change.
Why Recycling Is Essential
Recycling is not optional to protect the world’s resources. Global warming is real, and the production of excessive waste is a huge contributor to this phenomenon. Although protecting the planet requires a global effort, it begins on the local level. When individuals take steps to recycle their waste, it helps the cause and hopefully contributes to a ripple effect in their communities and countries.
By: Katherine Robinson, a writer for Blue Stone Supply