Key points from the article -
- What can we recycle?
- Why should everyone recycle?
- Types of recycing
- Fun facts about recycling
- How can you recycle at home?
Recycling is the process of converting waste into something useful. It is estimated that in India we waste about 960 million tons of solid waste annually. This waste is the by-products of our industries, mining, municipal and agricultural. Out of the 960 million tons of waste that is being produced, a whooping 350 million tonnes are of organic waste that’s being generated from agricultural sources. Over 290 million tonnes of waste comes from inorganic waste material from mining sources and over 4.5 million tonnes of waste is hazardous in nature.
What can be recycled?
There are many things present in our daily lives that can be recycled and reused instead of just throwing them away. Listed below are some of the items that we require in our daily lives and that can be recycled easily -
- Electronic equipment
Why should everyone recycle?
There are many benefits to recycling, some of them are -
- Reduce Landfill waste - It is estimated that Urban India generates about 62 million tonnes of waste (MSW) annually. This number will only increase. It is estimated that by the year 2030 we would have produced over 165 million tonnes of waste that is just going to fill the landfills.
- Reduce the use of harmful chemicals - Reusing products that have already been refined, manufacturers require less use of toxic chemicals which is ultimately good for the environment.
- Recycling requires less wastage of water - When we recycle products that have already been used, manufacturers require less use of water as opposed to when using virgin materials.
- Recycling saves money- When we recycle and reuse and repurpose our old products we are actually saving ourselves money.
- Aid to the future generation - When we reduce the use of plastic and recycle our waste, we are ultimately making sure that less pollutants are released into the environment, there is more scope of a greener, healthier and brighter future not just for us, but also for the future generations to come after us.
Types of recycling -
Now that we know the numerous benefits of recycling, we need to understand the various things that can be recycled and the kind of categories they fall into. Recycling can be segregated into 3 types mainly -
- Mechanical recycling - Mechanical recycling refers to the recycling of plastic which is either obtained from our homes, commercial disposals or industrial scrap. Recycling plastic is a long and tedious process. After your waste is segregated, it goes through a grinding process, then washing, seperating, drying, re-granulating and compounding. Such mechanically recycled plastics are used in the making of garbage bags, floors, hoses, car parts etc.
- Energy recycling - Energy recycling is environmentally friendly. It catalyses in waste incineration plants to withhold the emissions of the energy recycling process.
- Chemical recycling - One of the most complex recycling methods out there, chemical recycling refers to the breaking down of the chemical structures of plastic which are modified after processing. The final product can be used as a base in the making of new plastic products. Chemical recycling is not only complex but is also expensive as it requires large amounts of plastic to be available.
Fun facts about recycling - We bet you didn't know some of these fun facts about recycling!
- One recycled glass bottle can save the energy it would take to charge a computer for half an hour!
- It takes a 15-year-old tree to produce about 700 grocery bags.
- One tree has the potential to filter upto 60 pounds of pollutants from the environment!
- Each tonne of paper that we recycle has the potential to save about 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space and 7000 gallons of water!
How can you recycle at home -
Recycling plastic is something that all of us must do. However this is just one step towards safeguarding the environment. If we truly want to make a change and leave a positive impact on our world then we’ll have to do much more than just segregating plastic. With more and more people living a sustainable lifestyle, living a greener lifestyle isn’t that difficult. Let’s teach our children to be better by creating a good example for them. Living sustainably doesn't have to be hard, there are some small steps that you can take to recycling at home and living a better life.
- Reduce - Waste prevention reduces the generation of waste. Switch to other alternatives of plastic such as bamboo toothbrushes instead of the plastic ones, reusable straws, eco-friendly, reusable wipes and cloths instead of the disposable ones.
- Reuse plastic bottles - We are surrounded by plastic something which is not biodegradable which means that it will stay on the planet long after we’re gone. Even though we recycle plastic it would still be years before they’re finally processed. Growing your vegetables is a great way to be resourceful and recycle. Shivneri boarding school believes that growing your own produce is a great way for children to learn about plants and the environment.
- Compost - Composting is a great way for you to recycle at home. More often than not we discard food scraps when they’re highly nutritious and can be used as a natural fertiliser for your plants. This is a great way to reduce your waste and if you have kids, then teaching them how to be responsible adults.
- Reusing old newspapers - If you are someone who still gets newspapers everyday, then instead of saving off of it for your raddiwala, you can turn some of these around into helpful everyday use items! Use newspapers to wrap gifts, you can teach your children how to make newspaper bags. The possibilities are endless. This way, you are not only reusing old newspapers but are also turning waste into something useful.
- Replace single use plastic - Single use plastics are one of the worst ways for you to pollute the environment. Switching to reusable items such as using plastic straws, using a bamboo toothbrush, soaps that are packed plastic free. All these changes no matter how big or small have an impact on the environment.
Our planet is burning, you can’t expect the world to change without you changing along with it too. People are not starting to realise the environmental impact of our waste and the threat it possesses. If we don’t do something now, then the entire brunt of it will all fall upon our future generations. Do we want to leave our children on a planet that is failing? Where they don’t have clean water, access to basic resources because we failed to see threats? We live in troubled times, living life amidst the pandemic is difficult but it’s also letting the world breathe. You may have seen videos circling on the internet about a whale that was seen close to the shore, humans are not the only inhabitants of this planet and misusing our power to threaten someone else’s existence is not acceptable. Change begins at home by taking baby steps.recycling