Recycling is a dynamic industry that has changed rapidly because of science and technology. It has affected not only various sectors but also has become part of several governmental policies. Even significant businesses have taken part in the recycling industry, with consumer preference leaning more in favor of recycling. However, as the industry continues to grow, so do misconceptions. Here are five myths about recycling that were debunked by several experts.
Myth No. 1: Everything can be recycled only once
Although plastic has a short recycling span, it can usually only be recycled once. Several materials can actually be recycled again without losing the quality of that material. Materials such as glass and metal, even aluminum, can be recycled indefinitely and have even shown the highest value out of recyclable materials.
Even paper can now be recycled more than once because of technological advancement. Paper can now be recycled up to seven times before its fibers become too degraded.
Myth No. 2: Bottle Caps and Plastic Lids Need to be removed
While traditionally it was true that you did need to remove lids and caps when recycling, technology has evolved to a point where this is no longer required. A general rule of thumb is only to remove the cap if the material is different from its container. This makes recycling easier for both the community and the sorter.
Myth No. 3: The best way to reduce waste is to recycle
Recycling is a process that happens after you generate waste. While recycling is beneficial to the environment, it does not necessarily make recyclable items “environmentally friendly”. The best way to contribute to the environment is by reducing how much you consume. For example, you could purchase a reusable water bottle rather than a disposable one or you could bring a Tupperware container instead of using the plastic takeaway boxes. There is nothing wrong with recycling, but sometimes your decisions can have a greater impact.
Myth No. 4: Recycling Programs take away jobs from trash sorters. It’s better to throw it on the ground where trash sorters can pick it up.
While waste collectors contribute to the recycling industry, many trash sorters and collectors are actually put at risk because of their exposure to several bacterias, leading to several diseases. By merely throwing trash on the street, people are also exposing possible conditions to those trash sorters.
Further, recycling programs actually protect trash pickers as it is a formal acknowledgment by the government. Instead, several trash pickers seek to join recycling chains, so recycling programs do not necessarily take away jobs from trash pickers and sorters. In the United States alone, the recycling program helped create more than 1.2 million jobs.
Myth No. 5: Recycling is nothing but a governmental scam that has no real benefits to the world
Several skeptics have tried to prove that recycling doesn’t actually benefit the planet. However, according to the Environmental Protection Agency results are clear–it does have real benefits to the earth. Aside from its beneficial use to the environment, recycling saves the energy needed to make new materials. Recycling a glass bottle can save enough power to operate a 100-watt light bulb for a few hours.