8 Reasons Why We Should Recycle

Akin to any other ecosystem, the environment isn’t immune to toxic wastes and pollutants. For years, many eco-warriors and eco-driven companies have pushed for people to recycle and it seems as if people are finally listening. The bottom line is that recycling is beneficial to the environment in so many ways.

Reduces Waste
According to the latest available statistics, South Africans generate roughly 122 million tonnes of waste per year. Of this waste, a maximum of only 10% is recycled while at least 90% is landfilled or dumped illegally. Probably the best reason why we should recycle, therefore, is to reduce waste.

Reduces Water Pollution
Unfortunately there remains a great deal of companies that continue to dispose of their waste, such as oil and raw materials, into the water supply and the environment. This clearly leads to water pollution. This negatively impacts the environment as well as causes problems of water supply in areas where it is desperately needed.

Saves Energy
Recycling can create a great deal of energy which could be used for manufacturing. According to research, the energy required to manufacture can be saved 95% when you recycle aluminium cans, for example. In South Africa, where we are faced with a continuing energy crisis, creating energy would certainly be a positive result of recycling.

Protects Wildlife
Recycling helps protect wildlife and restore the environment’s oxygen levels. When we recycle we reduce the demand for wood and other parts of the forest required for manufacturing. This, over time, also ensures that wildlife is undisturbed.

Job Opportunities
Recycling is not only beneficial to the environment, but also to us as humans. There are over 56,000 recycling companies who employ over 1.1million individuals annually. In addition, South Africa has various programmes such as Packa-Ching in the Western Cape, where community members can earn money from cardboard ‘deposits’.

Reduces Global Warming
Recycling solid wastes can reduce the emission of harmful gases into the environment by reducing energy consumption. Using recycled materials to make new products reduces the need for virgin materials which would need to be manufactured.

Reduces The Depletion Of Natural Resources
Recycling inevitably helps in the reduction of the depletion of natural resources in the environment. This way they are available for a long time.

Fundraising Opportunities
More and more non-profit organisations and schools use recycling to raise money for their schools. It gives new meaning to the phrase “one man’s rubbish is another man’s gold”. Some of the items one could recycle for money include plastic, cardboard and paper, cans, glass, clothing, cooking oil, rubber, electronics and scrap metal.

The bottom line is that recycling is possible so why NOT do it? And for those of you who want to join the recycling
revolution, find your nearest drop off place.