Recycling destroys the planet


Piper Jones, Reporter

Heres a fun top 10

We’ve been tossing scraps of plastic and paper in those blue bins for 50 years in order to “save the planet”, but it doesn’t seem to be doing much after all.

Every species on this planet is being affected by the lack of help recycling has always promised, since the 1970’s the environmental movement hasn’t been working as well as everyone expected and our planet may be in serious danger.

Everyone has believed recycling is the way to solve the planet’s trash problems for decades, according to National Geographic, Americans alone generate 10.5 million tons of plastic waste a year, but only recycle 1 or 2% of it. Around 79% of that accumulates in landfills, meaning at some point much of it ends up in the world’s oceans. 

The main problem of most large scale recycling plants is simply, the consumers not sorting things correctly. Although this isn’t their fault, the sorting process of even things like plastic bottles should be separated due to chemical composition, dyes used, and even thickness of the plastic.

However about a quarter of everything average consumers throw in the recycling bin ultimately can’t be reused by the programs that take them. These items go from food waste, rubber hoses, low grade plastic, metal wires, and many other things the overly helpful people toss in.

In view of the categorizing issues in America, China who used to take 70% of plastic waste which calculates roughly to 7 million tons a year, they now only take 0.5%. commented that recycling does more harm than it helps, claiming that “These materials waste hauling space and fuel”.

The company TerraCycle is an innovative recycling company that has become a global leader in recycling hard-to-recycle items. With almost 202,831,611 active people involved with their program they have diverted millions of pounds of valuable resources from landfills all over the world, and they’re just getting started.

Many common items can be recycled over and over again, with substantial savings to energy and natural resources. 

The average piece of virgin printer paper can now be recycled five to seven times before the fibers get too degraded to be useful as new paper. After that, they can still be made into lower-grade paper-based materials like egg cartons or packaging inserts.

Recycling glass is 33% more energy efficient than creating glass using new materials. Glass can be recycled over and over again without degrading, so you never have to feel guilty buying glass items, just make sure you check with your local recycling centers because some glass requires special processing.

Metals can be recycled time and time again without degrading. If everyone were to recycle metal, we could greatly reduce the demand for new materials that need to be mined from the earth. 

Overall the myth that recycling is the current saviour of the planet is true is some aspects, we had all hoped it would eliminate the need for new materials but unfortunately we were wrong. Unless people start being more conscious of what they recycle and reuse within their own homes out planet could be in serious danger.