Recycling is essentially a process of conversion of waste into more useful products. It forms the third spoke in the waste management wheel, alongside “Reduce” and “Reuse”. The extraction of useful products from existing waste in an environmentally responsible way is crucial to efficient waste management, especially in light of environmental concerns raised since the latter half of the 20th century.
Recycling has been employed in cruder forms to manage waste and extract usable materials since the very beginning of human civilization. Largely compelled by scarcity, pre-industrial societies recycled scrap metal and other raw materials for reuse. However, it wasn’t until widespread industrialization across Europe that recycling was adopted as a practice on an industrial scale. Spurred by the demand for cheaper consumer goods, manufacturers were forced to rely on recycling waste products for reusable scraps, eventually giving birth to the modern recycling industry.
Recycling today is targeted at the collection of recyclable material, such as glass, paper, metal, plastics, textiles and electronics, and the subsequent extraction of reusable, useful raw material from it. Technically, the textbook definition of recycling would entail the reproduction of material bearing the exact characteristics of the original waste. That is, a piece of paper would be recycled into another sheet of paper bearing similar qualitative characteristics. However, practically, this is expensive and energy intensive. Thus, most waste materials are recycled into alternative products or materials. For instance, a scrap piece of paper might be recycled into rough paperboard instead.
The exponential increase in human waste production since the beginning of 20th century has necessitated rapid improvements in recycling technology. In developed societies, virtually all waste – domestic or industrial – is re-routed through a recycling process to extract all possible reusable materials from it. This is not only economically efficient, but more importantly, reduces the need for landfills and the environmental stress they cause.
Recycling is a crucial component of modern waste management practices. It forms an integral part of the 3R concept or waste disposal hierarchy of ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’. It can vastly reduce pollution and environmental stress. At the same time, recycling has emerged as a veritable industry in its own right in the past few decades, generating employment for hundreds of thousands of people across the globe.
Recycling Thesis Statement Examples:
* The finite quantity of most natural resources and the infinite thirst for the same has made recycling one of the most important movements that promote sustainability in the 21st century.
* While recycling is intended to reduce waste and curb pollution, many recycling processes and industries actually end up contributing significantly to environmental pollution. Thus, the need of the hour is to phase out antiquated recycling technologies and develop cheaper, more efficient recycling processes.
* Efficient and effective recycling requires the large scale participation of the general public to be successful. Any waste management program that does not involve the public is bound to fail.
* The export of electronic and biological waste from affluent western countries to poor, developing nations as part of the recycling process is another form of economic imperialism.
* The recycling industry employs poor, untrained workers with little regard for their safety. If the recycling industry is to succeed in its aim of creating a sustainable planet, it needs to arm its workers with adequate safety equipment and training.
* Recycling is an environment-friendly process. However, there is a need to introduce cheaper and better recycling technology for widespread use.
* The ship-breaking industry must take note of the environmental damage it is causing to certain nations around the world and implement proper recycling mechanisms.
* The untrained and unskilled workforce does not really help the cause of recycling. Measures should be taken by the recycling corporations to employ trained and skilled workforce.
* A study of the most hazardous materials in whose respect recycling can be done with clear advantage to humanity.
* Land filling is a costlier exercise for the municipal administration when compared to recycling of domestic waste.
* Lack of large scale public participation in respect of electronic waste recycling is a serious cause of worry.
* The dumping of British electronic waste in poor African countries is causing health and environmental hazards. There is an urgent need to consider cost-effective and technologically advanced electronic waste recycling in the United Kingdom.
* Because most individuals and companies alike do not have the time or inclination to get rid of electronic waste by themselves; free pickup facility by the respective municipal administration will help in recycling electronic waste properly.