It’s easy to grow despondent about environmental issues, particularly when so many people fail to recognise their importance in this landmark era of climate change. But if you look around you, one thing you’ll see is people taking recycling a lot more seriously. In what seems like a monthly occurrence now, companies like JP Concrete erect yet another recycling center in the UK. For those of us who understand recycling, such events are a step in the right direction. But for those who don’t, here’s a list of exactly what these fantastic sites are doing for the environment with your old cans, bottles and waste paper.
We tend to think of plastic being melted down and remolded into other plastic items – bottles, toys or product packaging. But in fact, the benefits to the environment are much more profound than that. Plastic can actually be recycled into fleece clothing, the significance of this being that we then use far less crude oil; a very scarce resource which is quickly running out. It goes without saying that this is a far more desirable outcome than simply adding to the millions (if not billions) of bottles serving so other purpose than to take up landfill space.
Though it can seem like a pain to have to sort the different colors of glass from one another, the environmental benefits are significant. Glass, once melted, can be remolded to form new objects, such as bottles. Not only does this require far less energy than making new glass from raw materials, but the whole process can be repeated again and again as well, making glass a 100% re-recyclable material. So maybe sorting your glass into the right colors is a pretty smart move after all.
It’s unfortunate that paper is perhaps the least durable and least recyclable of these three materials. If it could be recycled as many times as glass for example, perhaps stunning natural environments such as the Amazon basin would stand a great chance at survival. But despite its mortality as a material, paper can still be recycled enough times to make the process worthwhile; newly recycled paper is absolutely fine for making more paper from. After a few times though, it’s generally only good for toilet paper or cardboard.
Educate the Unbelievers
You’ll no doubt encounter people who choose not to recycle. Maybe they feel that the earth is doomed to failure, so why try to save it? Or perhaps they simply don’t understand the real benefits that lie therein. Having read this breakdown, be sure to pass it on, and duly educate the unbelievers.