For some individuals, recycling is an important activity, while, for others, there is no reason recycling should be emphasized. The aim of this paper is to argue for the importance of recycling. The paper will have to evaluate both sides of the argument so as to arrive at the most reasonable conclusion. The aim is to prove that recycling is an important activity that should be emphasized. Before looking at the arguments on the issue, it is important to know what recycling entails. Recycling means converting materials in other useful forms. Books and newspapers are converted to tissue paper, and plastics are converted to other forms of plastics. Metals can be re-melted and used to form various products.
Many of the products that can be recycled end up in landfills. The landfills have to be appropriately managed, and this means that they increase the cost of dealing with waste. As the waste products increase with time, the landfills will reach unmanageable levels, and this will adversely affect the environment. The alternative option is to ensure that all the waste that can never be recycled end up to the landfills. This means that the waste products are used to make other cheap items and the costs of managing landfills are greatly reduced.
The second reason recycling is important is that it helps avoid water and air pollution. If items are not taken to the landfills, they are taken to the incinerators where they are burnt. The burnt waste produces dangerous gases that affect the breathing system of individuals, in addition to increasing the green house gases in the atmosphere (Ackerman, 98). As such, the waste can adversely affect the environment if they are not recycled. If the option of taking the waste to the landfills is adapted, the effects are that some of the products may end up to the water bodies hence poisoning the aquatic animals as well as the human beings that consume the water.
Whenever new materials are made, resources are required in their production process. Taking the example of books, trees have to be cut so as to make papers that then are used in making of books. Trees and other resources that are used as inputs are usually scarce, since they are only available in limited quantities. At a given point, such resources are expected to get exhausted. As such, every time that new products are used means that new resources are used. When items are recycled, the inputs that would have been used are saved because the inputs in the recycling process are the old products (Jackson, 53). It should be realized that when new inputs are used, they do not only get exhausted, but the ecology is also affected by their extraction. An example is cutting down of trees that affect the livelihood of the wild animals.
The recycling process requires less energy as compared to making of new products. The process of extracting metals is expensive as compared to the process of recycling of waste metal. This means that less energy is required in the recycling process as compared to making of new products. The energy that is used in the manufacture of new products is generated by some activities that cause pollution. Some industries use coal while others use petroleum products and all these sources of energy pollute the environment. This means that if one uses recycled products, energy is saved and at the same time, the pollution of the environment is reduced. Such energy can be supplied to areas where the energy has not been supplied before, and this can boost the lives of the rest of the society.
Recycling of products can help save the costs that are incurred by individuals and the society in general. When products are recycled, they are sold at a price that is lower than the price of the original products. This means that the society gets products at highly reduced prices if they purchased the recycled products. When the costs incurred by the society or a nation are summed up, it is obvious that huge amounts of costs are saved by buying the recycled products (MacBride, 67). The lives of the society can thus be greatly improved if the various products in the society are increased.
Those against recycling argue that recycling is an expensive venture that may cost more than the process of making new products. It is true that the costs that an organization may incur in making a product are lower than the costs of recycling. The reason this is the case is that the manufacturers take to take into account the externalities that are associated with the production process. When trees are cut, the society loses a lot since animals die, soil erosion occurs, and there are no wind breaks any more (Dietz, 86). If these costs were included, it is obvious that they would surpass the costs of recycling. This is why the government has to come in and subsidize the recycling processes because of the benefits that are associated with the same.
To others, the products that are made from recycled products may be of poor quality. The fact is that this is not always the case. There is no evidence that all the products that are made from the recycled materials are of poor quality (Dietz, 39). Recycled products meet the set standards, and this is why they are allowed for use in the market. The various governments could not allow the use of substandard products.
In conclusion, recycling is the way to go in order to improve the welfare of the society. In the first place, it will help save the environment which has been significantly damaged by the human activities. It will help ensure that the pollution levels in the society are significantly reduced and that the society can get products at a lower price. Lower prices ensure that the members of the society are left with extra money to spend. The recycling plants employ individuals in the society hence providing them with a source of livelihood. The recycling process ensures that the future generation will live in a better place as compared to what would be the case if there were no recycling. As energy is saved, it is obvious that more people get energy connection, and they live in better environment. As such, the government and the members of the society should help ensure that all products are recycled because there are various benefits associated with the same.
Ackerman, Frank. Why Do We Recycle?: Markets, Values, and Public Policy. Washington DC: Island Press, 1996. Print.
Dietz, Thomas, and Paul C. Stern. New Tools for Environmental Protection: Education, Information, and Voluntary Measures. Washington, D.C: National Academy Press, 2002. Print.
Jackson, Susan E, Deniz S. Ones, and Stephan Dilchert. Managing Human Resources for Environmental Sustainability. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint, 2012. Print.
MacBride, Samantha. Recycling Reconsidered The Present Failure and Future Promise of Environmental Action in the United States. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2012. Print.
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