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NOT SO FAST, MY FRIENDS…My take on the recycling myths!

Updated: Apr 10

By Mark Samuel

If you are anything like me, you have been inundated with articles and watching commercials regarding recycling. Many got me thinking about how much I am responsible for and how to do better to reduce my carbon footprint.

A couple of the most common myths regarding “recycling” are that it is easy and straightforward. Sadly, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Recycling is extremely complex, costly, and involves several stages…yep, all of that. For example, plastic bottles must be sorted, cleaned, and processed before turning them into new products. This often means the cost of recycling often outweighs the benefits, which holds true when it comes to certain types of materials.

Another one.…recycling is the solution to all our environmental problems. YES…. It is an important part of waste reduction; however, it is not the silver bullet. It was a total surprise to me when I found out recycling does not eliminate the need for new materials, nor does it address the root causes of our waste issues. In fact, the recycling process itself, at least, can generate by-products that are harmful such as greenhouse gas and other toxic chemicals.

Recycling myths give many of us a false sense of security…at least, they did for me. Many of us believe that we are doing our part to save the environment by recycling. In all actuality, recycling is just one small part of a larger effort to reduce waste and conserve natural resources. Instead, maybe we should focus on reducing our consumption of single-use products, reusing items, and adopting SUSTAINABLE practices.

Lastly, recycling is a very important piece that helps reduce waste and save natural resources, but it is not a remedy for all our environmental problems. Simply put, we must recognize its limitations and focus on different, broader strategies to reduce waste and promote sustainability.

Stay tuned to learn about those additional strategies in my next blog….

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