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If we go back in time, we will see that waste problem, landfills, plastic in oceans were not present in history. However, the waste problem has become so vast that it can no longer be avoided. To counter it, we came up with the idea of recycling.
What is recycling?
This is a process where the waste is converted into other useful products. Materials that can be reused include; paper, plastic bottles, food, drink cans, cartons, and aluminum foils. Recycling is not a relatively new concept but, has been in place for years. However, the amount of waste produced per day is also increasing which means that the amount of recycling needs to be increased too.
Why should we recycle more?
There are many reasons which support the need to recycle and promote it. First, it reduces waste, which is indirectly good for the environment. It also reduces the number of resources needed to produce new products and reduces land and water pollution. Now let’s discuss these reasons in detail;
1. Waste Accumulation
The main reason that recycling is in the spotlight these days is that waste accumulation is a global problem because humans will soon run out of land and good water sources due to the increasing amount of waste being dumped into landfills acquiring space. This waste also causes irreversible damage to the environment and plays a part in global warming.
2. Saves Natural Resources
Recycling old products, like paper, saves a lot of natural resources like trees and water, which are depleting quickly. If the pressure is increased to cultivate these resources by recycling, then and only then can we save these finite resources, thereby protecting ecosystems and the environment.
3. Prevents global warming
When the waste is buried, burned or drowned, it releases a large number of harmful chemicals. Burning releases the highest amount of carbon dioxide which is a greenhouse gas and the leading cause of global warming.
4. Saves Energy
Creating byproducts by recycling waste consumes less energy than manufacturing these products from raw materials. This is an effective way to save fuel sources. For example, recycling Aluminum saves 95% energy.
5. Frees up land space
Soon we will run out of land space as the amount of waste being dumped is increasing day by day. The landfills near the oceans are overflowing and spilling waste into the water. Ocean habitats cannot tolerate human waste as it harms the aquatic animals’ life and destroys the ecosystem. It has been estimated that up to 60-75% of all landfill waste can be recycled which means we can save more than half of the land being used for dumping waste.
6. Everybody can do it!
Recycling is an easy and an individual-based task. More than three-quarters of the waste that an average person produces can be recycled by themselves. This means that each of us can reduce half a ton of waste per year.
7. Job Opportunities
If we replace landfills with recycling plants, we can create more job opportunities for everyone. This will also impact the economy in a good way. A country would have to import fewer raw materials if they recycle their waste. At an individual level, we would have to buy less as we would be recycling our used stuff which would save us money.
8. Promotes Sustainability
Since the rise of recycling, many technology companies have innovated in the field of Eco-friendly products which not only consume less energy but are also easy to recycle.
If more recycled products arrive in the market and become popular then the need for other products would decrease and the economy would be improved. We would not only protect the environment today but also the future of this planet and create a sustainable practice that will be carried on for generations.
9. Protects Ecosystems and Environment
As discussed earlier, when we save energy resources, we would reduce mining for raw materials and resources. This would protect many existing land and water ecosystems that would otherwise be destroyed. Trees aren’t only cleared to dig for mines but also for the accessibility of the mines by building roads. This leads to severe Habitat loss and destruction.
10. Health Hazards of Landfills
Medically, people living near land waste have a higher chance of catching a disease than others. Such landfills are a breeding ground for bacteria; they also produce toxic gases that can be harmful to the people living nearby. These landfills also release toxic waste into the ground which seeps into the groundwater and harms the water quality. This water can be hazardous to our health and even poison us.
It can be concluded that recycling is the best solution we have as it improves our lives in many sectors from health to the economy. It all starts in our home.