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Recycling: Significance and Value to Environment

Abstract

The issue of recycling of materials by industries has been debated for long by various stakeholders. Opponents of the issue demand to know whether recycling has any economic importance. The paper presents the importance of recycling and the value it adds to the society and the environment at a large. The objective is to analyze the benefits that are brought about by recycling of raw materials. The goal is to show how recycling leads to a sustainable environment. As the paper reveals, reprocessing has been adopted as a working mechanism of preserving energy and production cost since less energy is needed for manufacturing waste products compared to virgin products. Besides, recycling promotes fiscal efficiency due to the cheap prices of the recycled products. Thus, industries can attract many customers and be profitable if they produce recycled products. Apart from creating jobs, the process contributes to the protection of the environment from global warming when waste materials are reprocessed. The paper recommends manufacturing industries to adopt recycling if they want to create a sustainable environment for their future operations.

The Significance and Value of Recycling

Introduction

Recycling is described as the process of gathering used materials and converting them into new products through industrial processing. Organizations such as NEMA and other manufacturing industries have embraced recycling since it not only reduces waste products from the environment, but also save humanity many health issues that result from garbage sites. Hence, the process is important in not only creating a clean environment but also in maintaining a sustainable generation. Recycling benefits not only human beings but also other animals and the planet in general. It has been estimated that every person produces 6 kilograms of waste on a daily basis (McCarty and Shrum 54), and hence the need for proper waste management. Why is it important to manage resources by recycling them? How does recycling protect the environment and/or ensure the survival of the next generation? These questions form the discussions of this paper.

Results

Almost everything that surrounds people can be recycled, including biodegradable waste, glass, plastics, batteries, metals, and papers among others. The different materials need different methods when being recycled. The figure below shows the extent to which the UK has gone to reprocess its materials.

Results

The process of recycling usually begins by collecting and sorting materials according to their different types and use. The second stage is usually the manufacturing of the sorted materials into new products after which the products are sold to consumers (McCarty and Shrum 58). After the products have been used, the process of recycling restarts. Suresh presents recycling as an important process that many industries have adopted to create employment, especially in third-world countries where employment opportunities seem scarce (par.1). People who are involved in the recycling industries such as garbage collectors can make a living from it. Manufacturing industries that use waste materials to make new products employ many people. This observation implies that if waste collection is improved, governments will get more revenues and taxes to run their projects, including their people. However, only a small percentage of the world’s total waste materials are being managed (McCarty and Shrum 58). Hence, if people are employed to do garbage collection and waste management, the economies of the world will grow stronger.

Recycling helps in conserving energy. According to Suresh, it usually takes less energy when processing waste materials that had been processed before (3). For example, it takes 40 percent less time to produce paper using recycled materials in comparison with producing paper by using raw materials. In the former process, less air and water pollution is experienced when less energy is used. Recycling reduces the use of raw materials. The implication is that it contributes largely to the conservation of resources for future generations (David and Song 159). The energy-saving attribute of recycling establishes less tension on human health and the general environment. Recycling materials that were initially obtained from vegetation preserves trees and forests. This situation leads to a clean environment and fertile land for agricultural use. The overall outcome mitigates global warming, which threatens human existence.

The third importance of recycling lies in its financial efficiency since the recycled materials tend to be cheaper than the original products. Therefore, people’s daily expenditures are minimized by purchasing recycled products. Biodegradable waste products such as vegetables can be converted into manure, which saves money that may have been used in purchasing fertilizers. The purchase of recycled products upholds the continued operations of the recycling industry, which in turn protects the environment (Srour, Chong, and Zhang 352). The recycling industry is becoming more successful. In fact, people are expected to invest more in the industry while at the same time creating job opportunities. Businesses minimize their production cost when they use recycled materials. Hence, they can lower the prices of their products as a strategy for increasing their market demand and profitability. According to Suresh, businesses have a responsibility of being part of environment preservation efforts (2).

Garbage in disposal areas consists of environmentally-toxic materials that usually decay after staying for months or years in the dumping site. Landfills and incinerators have been used to manage wastes. However, they have been criticized because of the hazards they pose to the environment. The burying of wastes in landfills usually leads to the production of methane gas that is very harmful to the ozone layer and even more dangerous than carbon dioxide. Landfills pose the danger of discharging harmful materials that can lead to water pollution. Waste materials take a very long time to crumble. In fact, some of them may even need a hundred years to decompose. Therefore, more land space, which is getting expensive, is needed. On the other hand, incinerators produce toxic materials and greenhouse gases that threaten human health and global warming. Since landfills are compact, oxygen is unable to penetrate and reach much garbage, thus making the compost putrefaction process slow. Recycling of waste materials responds to all these issues by reducing the quantity of waste that goes to landfills and incinerators. Instead of being disposed, such wastes are changed into meaningful products that benefit society (Suresh 2). Waste recycling leads to political independence. Many countries have noticed that the dependence of foreign nations on resources such as oil is costly and not sustainable for the country’s future. Thus, many nations have started reducing the consumption of fossil fuels by recycling. According to Askarany and Franklin-Smith, the national recycling rate of 30 percent in the US can save five billion gallons of gasoline (60). This situation reduces the country’s dependence on foreign oil by over 114 million barrels.

Green Campaign leads to people being more aware of the environment and/or think about the impact of their waste production on the future generation. Recycling leads to a cyclic way of life where generations become interconnected. This cycle of life ensures that people meet their current needs without threatening their future existence. Sustainability is the main reason behind environmental protection. It leads to the preservation of natural resources to support the next generation. Sustainability does not entail only protecting the health of the natural environment but also that of the social environment. The main challenge of today’s sustainability comes from the dynamics of the current system of economics (Srour, Chong, and Zhang 353). Contemporary people live in a capitalist economy that disperses, disarranges, and deplete the physical and social energy in the process of manufacturing products to support their existence. Such economies do not do much to regenerate energy and resources that they remove from the environment. All economic benefits in a capitalist society are individualistic in nature (Ikerd 4). Only a few economic incentives are meant to support recycling, especially with reference to activities that are meant for long-term sustainability. The supportability of human beings and all living things lies in the eagerness of people and commercial centers to abandon their egotism to uphold ecological and social uprightness. Reprocessing is a significant feasibility mechanism if businesses want to see past the short-run money matters. For individuals in the business community, sustainability means putting in mind the long-term repercussions of the manufacturing industries. Corporate sustainability focuses on the environmental and social bearing of business actions. Investors are seeking good industrial practices that uphold sustainability before they can venture into business in a certain industry (Askarany and Franklin-Smith 65).

The life-cycle analysis of a company, which evaluates long-term environmental and carbon footprint products in their business, is usually of interest to many investors. Companies that have credible records in international and local sustainability can increase their employee output and industrial investments due to their good public relations. Companies such as Marks & Spencer have had sustainable changes because of these economic reasons.

Discussion

Following the pressure of the need to protect the environment, companies that adopt sustainability practices are gaining greater profits while at the same time creating a good consumer path. Management of feasibility methods helps in creating antagonism in the industrial centers since it pushes companies into establishing and providing good and healthy commodities. Sustainability has been shown to bring new demands, which lead to the creation of markets for manufacturing companies (Ikerd 3). The increase in consumer requests for companies to develop sustainability measures has made businesses that were not interested in green issues before to increase their sustainability duties to be competitive with other firms. Recent government laws across the world have restricted manufacturing companies to go slow on their operations based on their industries’ environmental impacts. Government organizations have become stricter in charging companies that pollute the environment. Sustainability is useful to business as a long-term procedure to better employee confidence. Businesses that respond to the new pressure of creating a sustainable environment are getting very attractive to the new breed of investors.

As the number of people rises around the globe, it is imperative for businesses to adopt sustainable development projects such as reprocessing of materials to hold the growing inhabitants. Thus, there is a need to protect technological resources, considering that the current generation is more technology advanced and that it depends on it for its daily survival. These technologies are built through the use of minerals and other manufactured materials, which need to be managed effectively through recycling since they are limited in nature. The new population will have to use essential commodities such as food and energy whose availability depends on how well the available environment and scarce materials are handled. An infrastructure that ensures long-term sustainability has to be developed to guarantee the survival of the next generation. Agricultural sustainability is also a big necessity when it comes to feeding the continuous growing population. If the same farming methods are applied in the future, they might be very costly since fossil fuel resources will almost be running out. Agricultural sustainable practices such as effective seedling practices and crop rotation are useful in promoting high yields while maintaining the state of the soil. If well sustainable agricultural practices are adopted, industries will have a continuous flow of goods to process.

Conclusion

It is clear from the aforementioned benefits that the recycling of waste products is the solution for efficient preservation of raw materials and energy and that the establishment of a clean environment will benefit mankind. The major benefits of recycling that have been found from the report include job creation, energy saving, financial efficiency, the control of climate and pollution, and most importantly establishing sustainable businesses that will benefit even the upcoming generation. The paper recommends manufacturing companies to practice recycling of resources that they use as a way of solving some of the issues that are currently affecting humanity such as global warming and the depletion of resources. Recycling of raw materials will lead to a sustainable future.

Works Cited

Askarany, Davood, and William Franklin-Smith. “Cost Benefit Analyses of Organic Waste Composting Systems through the Lens of Time Driven Activity-Based Costing.” Journal of Applied Management Accounting Research 12.2(2014): 59-73. Print.

Davis, Gate, and Jean Song. “Biodegradable packaging based on raw materials from crops and their impact on waste management.” Industrial crops and products 23.2 (2006): 147-161. Print.

Ikerd, John. Recycling for sustainability, 2007. Web.

McCarty, John, and Laura Shrum. “The Recycling of Solid Wastes: Personal Values, Value Orientations, and Attitudes about Recycling as Antecedents of Recycling Behavior.” Journal of Business Research 30.1 (1993): 53-62. Print.

Srour, Issam, Wai Chong, and Fan Zhang. “Sustainable recycling approach: an understanding of designers’ and contractors’ recycling responsibilities throughout the life cycle of buildings in two US cities.” Sustainable Development 20.5(2012): 350-360. Print.

Suresh, Surya. Echoing sustainability. Enumerating benefits of recycling, 2013. Web.

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ApeGrade. "Recycling: Significance and Value to Environment." April 10, 2022. https://apegrade.com/recycling-significance-and-value-to-environment/.

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ApeGrade. 2022. "Recycling: Significance and Value to Environment." April 10, 2022. https://apegrade.com/recycling-significance-and-value-to-environment/.

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ApeGrade. (2022) 'Recycling: Significance and Value to Environment'. 10 April.

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