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Why Reducing And Reusing Is Much Better Than Recycling

1708 words - 7 pages

There are over 600 million tons of recyclables being handled by almost 2 million people worldwide every year (BIR). This is the result of the ever growing concern of waste and CO2 emissions across the globe. Recycling is a controversial topic because many were taught that recycling is the most influential way to reduce environmental impact. However, according to the New York times, “Recycling may be the most wasteful activity in modern America: a waste of time and money, a waste of human and natural resources.” (Tierney). Recycling may actually be a way for people to feel justified about overusing products. This can result in a rapid increase in consumerism . In some cases, recycling can be effective, but studies have shown that more fossil fuels are burned up to recycle plastic than to produce new plastic products. This is also the case for many other materials. There are millions of dollars in net loss each year that are spent on salary for workers and gasoline used to fuel transportation of recyclables. Many people everywhere recycle because they were told it was good, but they were not informed of the negative aspects (Tierney). Although recycling some materials are beneficial by saving energy and waste, other materials, such as plastic and paper, cost more in consumed energy to recycle; Therefore reducing and reusing is a more practical and cost efficient way to reduce waste and energy.
Reduce, reuse, and recycle is something that people worldwide are told in school and also as adults. Recycling, or converting waste into reusable material is used across the globe with the hope of ridding the earth of some of our waste. Reducing, or bringing in a smaller amount, is the most effective way to reduce waste, but because of modern societies need to consume this method has been basically wiped out. Finally reusing, or using something more than once, is a way to use our waste again without having to put it though a huge CO2 emitting recycling process. Two out of the three Rs are effective ways to help our waste problem without putting even more waste in the air. The world however has chosen to go with the one (recycling) that can put more harmful emissions in the air then making new products. The world could be a much better place if citizens could just reduce the amount of overall waste than trying to melt it to make even more (dictionary.com). Landfill space has been a big concern for citizens all over the world. Even though it is much better for the environment to just reduce and reuse waste, there is plenty of room to dump our waste in a landfill (Penn and Teller). In order to try to reduce the leaching of chemicals from landfill into the air and groundwater it is best to try to began the reducing process by cutting some of modern societies current techniques.
Recycling has many positive effects on the world as well. In some cases like recycling aluminium it can save 95% of energy and 92% CO2 emissions (BIR). Recycling also reduces the...

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