what is recycling? infographic

The Basics | What is Recycling?

Recycling describes a process of gathering waste products and packaging, to retrieve the useful and reusable materials to be made into new products. It saves companies from using as many raw materials, and is cheaper if managed properly. Most local councils offer home collection of items for recycling, but recycling centres and drop off points at supermarkets are also widely available. This makes it easier than ever to recycle.

Some products are still not currently recycled, such as the plastic film on most food packaging. This year, progress in legislation has been made to ban what are called ‘microplastics’ and ‘microbeads’ in cosmetic products. This is because they end up in the sea and harm marine wildlife. Despite Government action and EU regulations, making recycling work is ultimately up to the public and corporations.

Why Everyone Should Recycle

Recycling reduces UK landfill which is especially important as nearly all the UK’s landfill sites are full (read our previous blog entry). It also creates jobs and helps to protect the environment by reducing emissions and the ‘greenhouse effect’ linked to global warming. Air, water and land pollution would vastly increase if everyone stopped recycling.

Recycling uses only 5% of the energy needed to make brand new products from raw materials. Many materials such as metal and glass, can be recycled over and over without them decreasing in quality. Raw materials are rapidly decreasing and are non-renewable. They therefore need to be used sparingly and collected from recycled products, to be reused. Recycling will reduce the amount of mining and deforestation taking place as well, which will protect vulnerable wildlife habitats. With some people still asking; ‘what is recycling?’, the power and need for recycling needs to be instilled in children while they are still at school, to pass on the word and put pressure on local councils.