Recycling is an important part of the fight against climate change. Luckily, recycling is becoming more and more popular. Nearly 50 per cent of municipal waste in the European Union is now recycled.
But, how does recycling protect our world? And why is it important to incorporate it into your business plan?
Let’s go through how recycling can improve our planet.
1. You Can Save Energy by Recycling
It takes more energy to create new items from scratch rather than to recycle old products, so recycling also uses less energy.
That’s because you save the energy that is used by acquiring the raw materials needed to make certain items. Reusing materials also helps to reduce the number of released carbon emissions.
For example, using recycled paper is much better for the environment than creating new paper and then creating products out of that new paper.
Instead of mining bauxite ore to make aluminium, recycle old aluminium products, which can save a large percentage of the energy. That’s why it’s so important to regularly recycle your cans and bottles.
When you recycle, it limits the amount that materials need to be extracted from the Earth to acquire raw materials. These can include mining different minerals, quarrying rocks, or logging.
By saving energy, we can limit the damage to our Earth, preserve our natural resources, and keep our population safer for longer.
2. Recycling Limits the Landfills
Landfills are a huge problem around the world. There are over 500,000 landfills in Europe alone. And unfortunately, around twenty-four per cent of municipal waste created in the European Union still goes to landfills.
Luckily, the European Union has instituted the Landfill Directive in order to stop some of the problems with landfills. Under the directive, less than 10% of garbage will be going to landfills by 2035.
The directive also restricts the ability to throw away recyclable materials to preserve more of these materials for future use.
While the Landfill Directive has made some gains in limiting landfills, there is still a lot more to do. That’s where recycling comes in.
It’s also cheaper to dispose of recycled materials than other trash, which makes it easier to do consistently. When we recycle properly, we can limit the amount of incinerated materials, preventing damage to the atmosphere.
That’s why it’s important for not just individuals or households but also for big corporations to recycle as much as possible. The bulk of pollution comes from corporations, which cause the most damage to the environment.
The European Union declared a climate emergency way back in 2019. The European Union aims to become climate neutral by 2050, so hopefully, there will be more initiatives to combat climate change and limit the size of landfills in the near future.
3. Reduce Pollution by Recycling
When we produce products, pollution is created. This pollution can cause major damage to our air, water, and more. Luckily, recycling can help stem the damage.
Manufacturing products from recycled materials emit fewer greenhouse gases into the environment, which can help protect our atmosphere.
When we recycle, landfills become smaller, which means that there’s less trash to release dangerous gases such as methane into our atmosphere. This means that less carbon dioxide is released, preserving the ozone layer.
Pollution doesn’t just harm the earth generally. Pollution can cause or exacerbate health problems, like asthma, in people all over the world.
Pollution in our oceans can damage and destroy ecosystems like coral reefs in the ocean, causing irreparable damage to the Great Barrier Reef.
Recycling prevents water pollution, too. This helps keep marine life alive and keeps the fragile ecosystem in the ocean going, which is very important to the future of our world.
Some of the materials that reduce the number of greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere include organic materials, glass, plastic, aluminium, copper, nickel, and steel.
4. Conserve Necessary Resources by Recycling
Many of our resources on Earth are non-renewable. Recycling helps us preserve our supplies of these and other resources.
Deforestation is a major issue that can be combated by recycling products that require wood. Our forests are being cut down more and more quickly each year.
So, recycling helps to preserve our forests. It’s not just true of the forests, too. By regularly recycling, we can conserve more resources.
Some of the materials or products that can be recycled and therefore the resources reused include:
- Computers and other electronics, like cell phones; printer ink cartridges and other accessories, cameras, camera film, and slides, MP3 players
- Tires and car parts
- Cans and bottles, and other containers made out of metal, glass, and other recyclable materials
- Many different types of batteries
- Aerosol containers
- Mattresses, carpets, and other home furnishings
- Antifreeze, concrete, engine coolant and oils, and other chemical products
- Some types of appliances, including stoves, dishwashers, refrigerators, and many more
- Clothing items, quilts, and other fabrics
- Cardboard, fibreboard, paperboard
- Food waste, garden waste, and other organic materials
- Junk mail, books, holiday cards, newspaper, and other paper products
- Golf balls, skis, and other types of sports equipment
- Eyeglasses, hearing aids, wheelchairs, some types of medications, and other medical help devices
- Plastic products such as plastic toys, milk jugs, glue containers, plastic utensils, and many more
Scientists discover new ways to recycle materials and conserve resources all the time, which is why it’s important to keep on top of the news.
That way, you can keep an eye on what you may be able to do to continue fighting climate change in the near future.
5. Recycling Helps the Worldwide Economy
Recycling isn’t just good because it helps prevent climate change. Recycling also helps boost the economy by creating jobs. Different parts of the recycling process require different expertise and skills.
Plus, new technologies are developed for making more efficient recycling processes, creating more jobs in research, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and many other fields.
And, more people will be needed to operate this new technology, which creates more jobs on top of the existing new jobs.
For example, employees will need to operate waste and clothing collectors and sorters. More recycling requires more people to sort through the trash and determine what’s recyclable. They’ll also need to operate the machinery that allows for sorting.
Jobs will be created for people who need to operate balers at material recycling facilities.
Some recycling-related jobs that are necessary include:
- Truck drivers, labourers, crane operators, vehicle operators, and heavy equipment operators
- Safety analysts
- Educators and teachers
- Waste reduction specialists
- Cleaning staff, for facilities and for items
- Site managers
- Development coordinators
- Materials auditors and handlers
- Managers and human resources
Plus, there are lots of grants out there that support and encourage recycling, which can boost business even more.
6. Recycling Is Good For People
Marginalized people are more likely to be negatively impacted by the effects of climate change and pollution. So, one of the benefits of recycling is that you can improve the lives of people around the world.
People who live in less gentrified areas or in less developed nations are more likely to face devastation or a climate disaster.
Because of that inequality, they also are more likely to lack the resources to completely recover from a climate disaster, landing them in worse straights than they were previously.
People with less privilege are more likely to live in places unprotected from the effects of climate change, so they’re more vulnerable to pollution.
Climate change is dangerous for people generally. Over 3 million people in Europe were negatively impacted by flooding in the time between 2000 and 2011. Climate change exacerbates the spread of some illnesses spread by mosquitos, ticks, and other insects.
Worsening heat waves have caused deaths in Europe, particularly the 2018 heatwave.
So, recycling improves public health generally. It also puts less pressure on our healthcare system, since fewer people will be negatively impacted by the effects of climate change and need healthcare resources.
This can make life easier for all of us, even those of us who aren’t prone to the effects of climate change in the same way. When there are more resources to go around, life is easier for every individual and for businesses as well.
Commit to Recycling at Your Business Today
Clearly, there are many reasons that recycling is very important for the future of our world. So, it may be time to institute a recycling program at your business.
Are you looking for products and support for your manufacturing business? Take a look at our services today.