Recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution while also saving electricity. Using recycled materials results in less solid waste. Recycling contributes to the reduction of pollution generated by the mining and processing of virgin materials. It also helps reduce our dependence on foreign oil by using fewer resources to produce new materials.
The recycling industry is growing fast. In 2016, the world's collected recycling volume exceeded 50 billion tons for the first time. This represents a 6% increase over 2015. By 2025, the amount of recycled material will exceed 70 billion tons - up from about 60 billion in 2016. That's enough recycled material to fill up all the land area of the United States twice.
The environmental benefits of recycling go far beyond carbon dioxide emissions and water pollution. Recycling uses much less energy than producing new raw materials, so it saves energy too. And if recycling were available everywhere, it would cut global warming gases and air pollutants into savings.
Here are some other ways that recycling improves our environment: Recycling reduces landfill space and the number of trees that are needed to make products such as disposable diapers and plastic bottles. Landfill space is very limited, and more people are choosing not to throw away food packaging and household items in an effort to help the environment. Disposing of these materials incorrectly can lead to groundwater contamination.
Recycling contributes to environmental protection. Recycling decreases the requirement for raw material extraction (mine, quarrying, and logging), refining, and processing, all of which cause significant air and water pollution. Recycling not only saves energy, but it also decreases greenhouse gas emissions, which aids in the fight against climate change.
The main types of recycling are: aluminum recycling, paper recycling, plastic recycling, glass recycling, and metal recycling. All together these make up the recycling industry. The recycling industry provides employment to people who work in the various facilities and companies involved with recycling.
Aluminum has become the number one metal used for containers because it is lightweight, durable, inexpensive, and easy to recycle. Aluminum cans save us money by keeping food fresh longer and making packaged foods lighter. However, extracting aluminum from its cans requires heating them in a furnace, which releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This is called "carbon footprint" or "greenhouse gas emission." Greenhouse gases are substances that increase the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and may lead to global warming. Carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas produced when recycling aluminum.
Paper is made from wood pulp, which is derived from sustainable sources such as forest regrowth and legacy trees, so it is considered a renewable resource. The main use for paper is for writing, printing, and packaging. Paper products are used in many other things including bricks, carpet, and diapers.
Recycling aids in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by lowering energy usage. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions caused by the extraction or mining of virgin materials. Furthermore, creating things from recycled materials uses less energy than manufacturing products from virgin materials. Recycling also helps preserve our natural resources by using up old material instead of dumping it in landfills which can cause environmental damage.
The recycling process itself produces carbon dioxide. Recycling is actually more polluting than producing new materials. However, this amount of pollution is small compared to the overall impact that recycling has on reducing greenhouse gases.
Recycling matters because it reduces the need for new resource extraction and use of energy while helping to protect the environment. There are many ways that recycling helps the environment. If more people recycled, then there would be less demand for new materials which would reduce mining and drilling for oil and natural gas. That being said, recycling does have some negative effects too. For example, recycling plastic bottles back into bottles will always result in some degree of pollution since some plastic will always be burned or dumped into water bodies.
However, recycling has very significant benefits over simply disposing of things in landfill sites. Recycling conserves energy, protects the environment, and saves money all at the same time.
Recycling helps to minimize energy consumption, new raw material use, air and water pollution (from landfilling), and greenhouse gas emissions by lowering the requirement for "traditional" trash disposal. Recycling also provides some economic benefit through the reuse of materials and the creation of new products.
The environmental benefits of recycling depend on how it is done. Recycling paper, for example, reduces deforestation and soil contamination due to wood harvesting; recycling plastic, on the other hand, can lead to more forest destruction because it requires oil or natural gas to extract the resin from the waste for further processing.
There are several ways in which recycling can reduce the impact of waste on the environment. Minimizing landfill space is one advantage of recycling that applies to all types of waste. This is particularly important for recyclables that cannot be burned such as plastics and glass. They end up in a landfill or dump after being discarded. Landfill space in the United States is at a premium and every effort should be made to recycle whatever possible.
Another advantage of recycling is that it can reduce the need for new raw material production. This can be an issue with plastic, for example, which often comes from fossil fuels.