It’s no secret that there’s a lot of confusion around the topic of recycling, especially regarding the big three, glass, plastic, and paper. We’ve all heard some version of these myths before, but they persist, maybe even among you.
Recycling is an environmentally friendly activity that everyone should do, but it doesn’t always get the respect it deserves because of myths around it. These are just some of the more common ones:
1. Recycling Is Only For Aluminum Cans And Plastic Bottles
Not true. Food waste can be composted in your backyard or at a local community center. Instead of throwing away food scraps that could otherwise be used as compost, make sure to dispose of them in a way that will help grow something new. Some communities even have curbside pickup for food waste so that it can go straight from your kitchen to the compost pile or worm bin. You can recycle paper products like eggshells and coffee grounds in your home’s curbside program or at a local community center.
You can also repurpose items that might otherwise go into the trash. For example, cardboard shoe boxes are perfect for storing winter gloves. Also, when you learn how to use reusable produce bags, you will have found an alternative to the plastic bags you often find at the supermarkets. That way, some things might not be recyclable at every location, so check with your local community center or ask your city officials what types of items to recycle and where they should go to do so properly.
2. Recycling Doesn’t Reduce The Amount Of Waste Being Produced
While it is true that recycling does not reduce the total amount of waste being produced, it does reduce the amount of waste that has to be treated, and even more importantly, it reduces the amount of pollution being produced by the manufacturing of new products.
Manufacturing a new car produces more pollution than recycling 10 cars. However, recycling 10 cars doesn’t reduce the amount of pollution being produced by the manufacturing of new cars.
The same can be said for plastic. Plastic is made from petroleum, which is a non-renewable, polluting fossil fuel. Manufacturing new plastic toys produces more pollution than recycling them.
However, the pollution caused by the production of new plastic toys is significantly greater than the pollution caused by recycling plastic toys. When plastic is recycled, it doesn’t have to be manufactured.
3. Only Experts Know How To Recycle Correctly
While it’s true that most people don’t know everything about recycling, we can all do our part by being more environmentally conscious. For instance, we can use a freshie food saver bag so that the food can stay fresher for a longer time. We can also insist on using environmentally friendly products like organic cotton produce bags instead of plastic bags.
Since recycling is a good thing, you might have the impression that it’s a complex process that only a professional can carry out. In reality, all you need to do is adopt an environmentally friendly lifestyle. The first step to doing so is to learn how to keep produce fresher longer besides using reusable products. And when you have to dispose of items, just separate things into the different bins provided at your local recycling center.
Finally, many communities have local recycling centers that you can visit. If you don’t have access to a local center, most major cities have websites with detailed instructions on what goes where. There are also plenty of apps that can help you figure out where your nearest recycling center is located.