Eight Benefits of Recycling

Separating waste and leaving it in a corresponding container costs more than putting it in the same bag and throwing it away. A garbage truck will come and take it away, anyway. Recycling has multiple advantages for the environment, global economy, and human health. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits it brings to the societies that practice it:


No matter how hard we try to get rid of it, trash is always there. And whether we want it or not, it keeps multiplying: the amount of garbage generated increases year after year worldwide. According to an article published in the Nature journal, the global generation of urban solid waste (USW) will double by 2025 and triple by the end of the century.

Non-recycled garbage does not just magically disappear but ends up in landfills. What is especially worrisome is that it threatens the environment and health of millions of people worldwide. Prepared by a group of international waste experts, the Garbage Atlas points out the location of the world’s largest landfills. One of them, called Jam Chakro, is situated in Pakistan and covers an area of more than 288 soccer fields. Recycling prevents waste from ending up in landfills, or, which is even worse, in the environment.


The environmental impact of generating new products is reduced if the raw materials come from recycling. Making paper from scratch is not the same as recycling waste paper and reusing it. The example could be used for any other materials that are currently being recycled. Also, the contamination of water, soil, or air generated by the extraction of new raw materials is reduced that way. The more materials we recycle, the better we take care of nature.


Energy is what makes the world move. Turning on the lights in our homes, charging our mobile phone batteries, driving to work, or creating new products requires energy. To get it, oil and coal are used, the two fossil fuels that are known to have an adverse effect on the environment. Recycling allows us to spend less energy on the creation of new products. For example, recycling a can of soda saves 95% of the energy needed to make a new one.


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No one doubts that climate change is real and that it is one of the greatest threats facing humanity. Global warming is caused by the excessive emission of greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide (CO2), into the atmosphere. By saving energy and materials, recycling contributes to lower CO2 emissions.


Recycling is part of the so-called ‘green economy’ that the European Union is actively promoting. Its ultimate goal is to “increase prosperity while conserving the natural systems that sustain us.” Ecoembes is a non-profit organization that takes care of the environment through the recycling of domestic containers. Since it began its operation in 1998, it has generated 42,600 jobs.


A can of drink can be converted into another can of drink, a glass bottle into another glass bottle, and used paper into new books. However, recycling can also lead to the creation of very different new products, some of which you would not think were possible. An example of this is the garments of the Ecoalf brand. They are made from used tires or abandoned fishing nets. Its owner, Javier Goyeneche, has managed to make it an international benchmark for sustainable fashion (celebrities such as actress Gwyneth Paltrow or fashion designer Marc Jacobs have declared themselves the company’s customers).


10% of hospital emergency admissions are due to drug misuse. SIGRE is an integrated management system created by the pharmaceutical sector for the collection, recycling, or disposal of medicines. It contributes to the correct use of medicines and helps avoid possible complications.


Next time you recycle something you’ll feel a lot better about yourself and others, right? As if you are eating your favorite fruit or after sports training. After all, a society that is aware of the benefits of recycling is a healthy and economically prosperous one.