Reduce Reuse Recycle
The levels of pollution have begun to rise rapidly. The use of plastics and other forms of non degradable substances has only added to it. One way to combat this is to reduce the use of such objects, recycle and reuse them. Hence the concept of reduce-reuse-recycle has become popular world over.
Reuse is using an item more than once. This includes conventional reuse where the item is used again for the same function and new-life reuse where it is used for a new function. In contrast, recycling is the breaking down of the used item into raw materials which are used to make new items. Reuse can have financial and environmental benefits, either of which can be the main motivation for it. The financial motivation historically did, and in the developing world still does, lead to very high levels of reuse, but rising wages and consequent consumer demand for the convenience of disposable products made the reuse of low value items such as packaging uneconomic in richer countries, leading to the demise of many reuse schemes. Current environmental awareness is gradually changing attitudes and regulations, such as the new packaging regulations, are gradually beginning to reverse the situation. The classic example of conventional reuse is the doorstep delivery of milk in reusable bottles. Other examples include the retreading of tires and the use of plastic delivery trays (transit packing) in place of cardboard cartons.
Recycling is the reprocessing of materials into new products. Recycling generally prevents the waste of potentially useful materials, reduces the consumption of raw materials and reduces energy usage, and hence greenhouse gas emissions, compared to virgin production. Recycling is a key concept of modern waste management and is the third component of the waste hierarchy. Recyclable materials, also called “recyclables”, may originate from a wide range of sources including the home and industry. They include glass, paper, aluminum, asphalt, iron, textiles and plastics. Biodegradable waste, such as food waste or garden waste, is also recyclable with the assistance of micro-organisms through composting or anaerobic digestion. Recyclates are sorted and separated into material types. Contamination of the recylates with other materials must be prevented to increase the recyclates’ value and facilitate easier reprocessing for the ultimate recycling facility. This sorting can be performed either by the producer of the waste or within semi- or fully-automated materials recovery facilities. There are two common household methods of recycling. In curbside collection, consumers leave presorted recyclable materials in front of their property to be collected by a recycling vehicle. With a “bring” or carry-in system, the householder takes the materials to collection points, such as transfer stations or civic amenity sites. The term recycling does not generally include reuse, in which existing items are used for a new purpose. The communication and identification are laid out in International Universal Recycling Codes. These codes outline what material an item is made from, to facilitate easier reprocessing.
Recycling and reuse are ways to help combat the increasing pollution. But primarily one concept that can help negate the pollution rise is reducing the usage of non degradable wastes. This includes use of paper bags (these must be usable again, because increase in paper demand leads to wide spread aforestation) while shopping, refusing plastic on a larger scale, using bio degradable items and many more. The proper use of this concept can help reduce pollution which in turn can help to combat global warming. So let us all rethink our ways of handling commodities and reduce-reuse-recycle.