The landfills all over the world are steadily growing in size and creating a major threat to the environment by releasing toxic chemicals and greenhouse gasses. Recycling provides a much needed solution to this problem by reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills, conserving natural resources, and reducing the impact of climate change.
The US government has a target to increase the recycling rate nationally to 50 percent by 2030, but we've got a long way to go to reach this goal. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the recycling rate in the United States was only 32.1% in 2018, with paper and cardboard making up the largest portion of recycled materials.
Let's look at some of the benefits of recycling for the environment and why it is so important to take part in this practice.
Recycling helps conserve natural resources such as wood, oil, and metals. By recycling paper, we can save trees and reduce the need to harvest wood for making paper. Recycling plastic reduces the need to produce new plastic products and the amount of oil used in the production process. Recycling metals such as aluminum, steel, and copper reduces the need for mining these resources from the earth. And recycling glass reduces the need for sand used in glass production.
Recycling helps protect wildlife and the environment by reducing the amount of pollution that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. This can include reducing the amount of hazardous chemicals, such as lead and mercury, that can enter the food chain and endanger animals and their habitats.
When materials are recycled, they are processed in a way that reduces air and water pollution. Recycling reduces the need to burn fossil fuels in order to produce new products, which helps to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere. It also helps to reduce the amount of waste that is dumped into rivers and oceans, thereby reducing water pollution.
By recycling materials, we are able to use less energy in the production process. This is because recycling requires less energy to process materials than manufacturing new products from raw materials. According to the EPA, recycling aluminum cans requires 95% less energy than producing new cans from bauxite ore.
Recycling helps to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. When materials are recycled, fewer emissions are released into the air from manufacturing processes. This helps to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses that contribute to global warming.
By recycling materials, we are able to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills. This helps to reduce the amount of space needed for landfills and the amount of greenhouse gases released from decomposing materials in landfills. According to the EPA, the recycling rate in the United States was only 32.1% in 2018, with paper and cardboard making up the largest portion of recycled materials.
Recycling plays an important role in protecting the environment. By reducing the need to manufacture products from raw materials, conserving natural resources, reducing air and water pollution, cutting down on energy consumption, and reducing the strain on landfills, recycling helps to reduce the impact of climate change and protect wildlife. The EPA has set a goal to increase the recycling rate nationally to 50 percent by 2030, and everyone can do their part to help reach this goal.