Ten Reasons to Recycle
1. Recycling protects wildlife habitat and biodiversity. The use of recycled materials reduces the need to chop down, extract, process, refine and transport natural resources such as timber, crude petroleum and mineral ores, needed to produce new products. As a result, destruction of forests, wetlands, and rivers is also reduced.
2. Recycling lowers the use of toxic chemicals. Making products from already refined waste materials reduces — and often avoids altogether — the need for manufacturers to use the toxic chemicals essential when processing virgin materials.
3. Recycling helps curb global warming. Using recycled materials cuts down on the energy used in the manufacturing process, dramatically reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants.
4. Recycling stems the flow of water pollution. Making goods from recycled materials generates far less water pollution than manufacturing from virgin materials. For example, paper recycling mills don’t pollute the water nearly as much and almost always use less of it.
5. Recycling reduces the need for landfills. In addition to the space they take up, toxic pollution from landfills — including cyanide, dioxins, mercury, methane, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid and lead – can escape into the air and leach into groundwater.
6. Recycling reduces the need for incinerators. Municipal waste incinerators spew out all kinds of air pollutants; in addition to producing contaminated ash. And they may seriously threaten the health of the communities nearby. Keeping paper, plastic and metal out of incinerators thru recycling, reduces how much incinerators pollute and how harmful the emissions are.
7. Recycling creates jobs and promotes economic development. Recycling creates jobs throughout the entire supply chain. From jobs as basic as the collectors, processors, and dissemblers, to managers of companies entering this market, to sales of recycled materials, to building and operations management.
8. Cities may profit by selling recyclables. While landfills are always dumping grounds for municipal money as well as rubbish, cities with high recycling rates can actually make money selling recyclables when markets are good. Hong Kong generated HK$6 billion from recycling in 2007.
9. Recycling provides materials for recycled products, which reduces costs and therefore contributes to the demand for more recycled products. This will, in turn, save even more resources, reduce more pollution and protect more people’s health. As the size of the demand and the market grows, recycled products will cost less.
10. Teach your children to be better stewards of our planet. The planet is clearly feeling the stress of a growing human population. Understanding how to live in a more sensitive way will help our children support and find the solutions to a sustainable future for everyone.
Ten Reasons to Recycle