It goes without saying that there are numerous benefits to recycling. Firstly, it allows products to be reused as opposed to being improperly disposed of in a landfill. Landfills emit dangerous pollutants into the air, causing damage to the planet and the ozone layer. Secondly, recycling helps to protect the environment from further harm. Additionally, by opting to only purchase products that can be recycled, we are reducing the demand for single-use plastics and are, therefore, moving towards a more eco-friendly and sustainable future which will allow us to minimise our impact on the environment.
There are three main types of recycling.
Primary recycling refers to a product that can be reused without altering its current state or purpose at all. This means that once recycled, it will serve the same function again. An example of this is when you reuse a single-use plastic water bottle several times to avoid throwing it away after one use.
2) Secondary recycling
Secondary recycling is when we repurpose a product for alternative use, without it being processed or altered at all. For example, you may use leftover materials for a DIY or arts and craft project. One way in which you can do this is by using newspaper to create papier-mâché art.
3) Tertiary recycling
Tertiary recycling is when recyclable materials are collected and altered (often chemically) in order for them to be reused as something else. This is typically what happens when our recyclable waste is collected and sent to a centre.
There are a large variety of products that can be recycled, and although the below list is by no means comprehensive, it should give you an idea of what items you can recycle.
Natural recycling refers to adapting our practices to ensure that our products can always be reused – if not, they should be broken down in a way that doesn’t harm the planet. It aims to replicate the way in which the earth naturally makes use of its waste. For example, plant and animal decay become part of our soil.
In order to practice natural recycling, we should attempt to reuse everything we purchase, where possible. We can also begin the practice of composting, as this allows us to reuse non-recyclable materials such as food waste to benefit the environment.
Unfortunately, there are some materials that cannot currently be recycled. It is important, where possible, to cease using these products or at least minimise our consumption of them. They include:
Learn how to set up a recycling scheme at work
What are the advantages of recycling?
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