Does recycling really make a difference?

Hi all!

I’m new here. I went to the dump the other day for the first time and watching people in giant machines push heaps of plastic flip flops and broken toys around for hours really jarred me. I’ve decided to cut back on any new plastic I buy, and attempt to recycle everything I can.

But that brings up a nagging question in my mind - does recycling really make a difference considering consumers can pretty much throw anything in there?


@pictureanca - you’re the expert on this! :see_no_evil::see_no_evil:

And welcome @leannaz! :relaxed:

Hi @leannaz, welcome!

I totally understand how you feel about recycling. You’ve probably read about the recycling scandals in the UK and now I see the USA too. I think it depends where you live. Some countries have recycling systems that actually work and they don’t have to ship their waste overseas. In others it’s just a facade.
But let’s forget about countries, and focus on cities. A city like London has different waste disposal rules for each of its boroughs. For firms and for households. It’s a long confusing story, this recycling story :slight_smile: and sometimes it works, but most of times it doesn’t. Plus, recycling comes with its own carbon footprint (transport, the industrial process of melting, bleaching, cleaning, separating…) and with a few exceptions (aluminum, glass, f.i.), it still produces waste.

I think what you decided to do is the right thing. Refuse non-recyclable, disposable plastics, reuse what you can, and only as a final solution recycle. There are a couple of texts on our blog about bioplastics and protesting plastic pollution :slight_smile: You might find them useful. We’re working on a bigger piece on recycling which should be published soon. I’ll let you know when that happens because it will be an in-depth answer to your question.

Thanks again! :pray:

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