Recycling is the process of turning used materials that would have otherwise been wastes into precious usable resources. The most common recyclable materials include used newspapers, cans, metals, textiles, glasses and plastics.
Importance of Recycling
Some of the major reasons as why recycling is considered to be important include:
- Saving of Energy- The process of recycling materials often involves the use of little amount of energy as compared to the processing of raw materials. For instance, much less energy is used in the recycling of plastic bottles as compared to manufacturing the plastic bottles from raw materials. Additionally, the energy that could otherwise been used in the transportation of raw materials, especially from the source to the industries is saved significantly.
- Creation of Jobs- As more individuals and companies continue to recycle more used materials, the number of people required to participate in the collection, sorting out and processing of the materials that need recycling also increases. This allows for the creation of new job opportunities and creates a very healthy and vibrant economy for the country.
- Reduction of Waste Products in Landfills- Landfills are usually filled with non-biodegradable wastes that do not decompose easily. Through recycling, the amount of waste materials that often disposed of in the landfills is reduced significantly.
- Reduces Pollution- By saving a lot of energy through recycling, especially in the industrial production, the emission of dangerous greenhouse gases that usually contribute to global warming is minimized. Recycling of non-biodegradable waste materials also plays a vital role in the reduction of air and water pollution.
Steps of Recycling Products
- Step 1: Collecting the Recyclables
The collection of recyclable materials usually varies from one community to the other. However, the four most common methods of collection are often done through curbside, buy-back centers, refund/deposit programs and drop-off centers.
- Step 2: Sorting Out of the Recyclables
Regardless of the collection method, all the recyclables are then sent to a special materials/resources recovery facility whereby they are sorted out and prepared for recycling.
- Step 3: Manufacturing
After all the recyclables have been sorted out, separated and cleaned, they are then taken into the process of manufacturing. Different recycling companies use different methods, depending on the amount or type of the recyclables.
- Step 4: Selling and Purchasing of Recycled Products
Once the recyclables have been recycled, they are ready to be sold and bought.
Signs and Symbols of Recycling
Recycling signs and symbols are normally used by companies in order to state clear policies that relate to the disposal as well as recycling of used materials. Some of the signs and symbols include:
- The Mobius Loop: Used internationally as a symbol; of recycling
- Green Dot: This symbol is often used in the European countries. It indicates that the manufacturer has contributed financially towards a recycling effort.
- Recycle Now: This sign is designed in order to motivate people to participate actively in the process of recycling. The curve represents action while the heart represents the good feeling of recycling action.
- Polyethylene Terephthalate: Often used in disposable food, non-food and bottled beverages packaging.
- High-Density Polyethylene: This sign is often used in the packaging of products that have short-life shelf and other household detergents.
Nowadays, the corrugated plastic sheets are some of the commonly used recycled products. They are light in weight, versatile and very affordable. Due to their flexible nature, corrugated plastic sheets are often used for making indoor and outdoor sign boards as well as menu boards.
With continuous constructive recycling, man will continue to live in a safer and productive environment. In addition, the economy will continue to grow positively with the creation of more job opportunities.