People have become familiar with the term ‘recycle’ but most are still unaware or negligent to its benefits. Few people would be able to answer the question: how does recycling help the environment? Discussed below are some of the benefits in brief:
- Preservation of precious natural resources–Recycling of goods reduces the requirement of raw materials and consequently helps in preservation of precious natural resources. It is not beneficial only for ecology but for manufacturers and consumers too. Manufacturers get certain percentage of requirement from used products, which reduces the cost or production and hence the retail price of the product thus developed. Stanford University alone recycled goods that were equivalent to requirement of more than 33,000 trees and more than 600 tonnes of coal, ironore and limestone.
- Prolongation of landfill saturation points–More the products are recycled lesser the land would be required for landfills.The enormous quantity of waste that is generated daily requires dumping grounds. More the dumping grounds are required more number of animal habitats might be acquired to satisfy the demand. On the other hand, if people commit to recycling, the saturation of landfills would be considerably prolonged. Besides, non-biodegradable goods delay the decomposition of biodegradable goods from years to decades, which would not be the case if recyclable goods are recycled.
- Reduction of contamination–Cadmium, flame retardants and other harmful materials are used in the production of plastic. When plastic products such as toys, bottles, etc. are not recycled, they are dumped to decompose. Their decomposition contaminates soil and water which are ultimately consumed by living-beings in or the other form. Plastic is generally incinerated due to its slow rate of decomposition, the fumes of which are poison for humans and animals alike. However, plastic is completely recyclable and if it is religiously recycled, air, water and soil would be spared of its contamination.
- Reduction of greenhouse gas emission–Production of goods completely or partially from recycled materials requires significantly lesser energy than otherwise. Recycling of plastic and of steel saves 70% and 60% energy respectively while recycling of glass and of newspaper saves 40% energy. Energy savings could be up to 95% in case of materials that can be recycled multiple times before becoming useless.Requirement of less energy translates into less greenhouse gas emissions.
A detailed answer to how does recycling help the environment would form a book. However, the benefits of recycling are remarkably apparent from the facts mentioned above. If each of these benefits are further refined then multiple ecological benefits can be traced. It is time the question “how does recycling help the environment?”be used to emphasise significance of recycling instead of acquiring knowledge.