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Reduce and Reuse Before Recycling

Reducing refers to minimizing the usage of an item. When the usage of certain items is reduced, it results in less waste. Conversely, reusing refers to coming up with other ways of using products that have lost value and are worth throwing away. On the other hand, recycling refers to turning useless and old items into new and valuable products. The process of recycling and recycled products have adverse effects on people in various ways. These effects pose the need to reduce and reuse certain products, avoiding recycling. Therefore, this argumentative essay will address why people should reduce and reuse products instead of recycling.

Recycling products cause pollution. Thus, recycling is not recommendable. When recycling products like polythene bags and plastic bottles, methane gas may be released into the atmosphere causing air pollution that may cause respiratory diseases. Also, methane may deplete the ozone layer causing skin cancer (Li et al.). Therefore, people should reduce and reuse materials instead of recycling them to prevent pollution. Preventing pollution will reduce related consequences. Besides, recycling products negatively affect the environment. Therefore, it is not advisable to recycle materials. For instance, dioxins are released when smelting copper during the recycling process. Also, dioxins are released when recycling products containing polyvinyl chloride (Alabi et al. 3). These dioxins may be disposed into the environment and end up in water systems, and plants may absorb others. When humans feed on food and drink water contaminated by dioxins, they develop developmental, reproductive, and cancer complications. Thus, the best solution is to reduce and reuse products that contain dioxins instead of recycling them. Reducing and reusing such products helps in sustaining the environment for future generations.

Furthermore, recycling products waste much energy. Thus, it is not recommendable to recycle materials. This energy may be the electricity used to run recycling machines. The best way to address this issue is to reduce and reuse products as it will help to save the energy that could have been used when recycling products. Saving energy increases security as there will be enough supply with limited rationing (Bahrami et al.). The energy can also be diverted to other uses that will generate more income. Also, recycling plants waste much money. Thus, it is not recommendable to recycle products. The most advisable way is to reduce and reuse products. Reducing and reusing products helps save money that could have been used in recycling. People can save money by reducing the usage of plastic disposable razors and instead using metal razors that are highly durable as they will be reused for a long time. Also, reduce the usage of plastic shopping bags and replace them with reusable canvas bags (Awoyera and Adeyemi). These reusable products will save much money that could have been used in recycling.

Moreover, some of the recycled products may be substandard. The products may be low quality because recycling companies may not hire employees with the right skills and expertise to recycle the materials. Thus, recycling is not recommendable. When recycled products like lead fail to meet the required standards, they may result in lead poisoning (Tan et al. 86). Lead poisoning may cause physical and mental challenges among people. Some body organs like the reproductive, kidney, and brain may also be affected. Instead of recycling products that may fail to meet the required standards, reducing and reusing them is advisable. Reducing and reusing products will help evade related challenges (Rashid and Khurram 128467). Also, the government may invest in recycling companies resulting in losses because recycling is expensive, and the goods they produce may not meet the expenses once sold. Thus, the only way governments can avoid such losses is by encouraging people to reduce the usage of products. For instance, they can reduce the usage of plastic straws by adopting bamboo straws. Also, they can use juice bottles for storing water.

On the other hand, the opposing view claims that recycling products conserve natural resources. For instance, if iron utensils, appliances, and vehicles are no longer in use, they can be recycled and used for various purposes instead of mining and extracting iron ore to use as raw material. In such a case, natural resources will have been conserved (Kishore and Nakul 2929). The other argument is that recycling products help in reducing the number of landfills. The used materials end up polluting water and the land. As a result, they cause environmental degradation. Thus, recycling these materials helps to reduce soil and water contamination. Also, recycling materials is a source of employment (David et al. 39). People are employed in recycling plants to facilitate the conversion of products into reusable materials. Also, some individuals sell their used materials to recycling firms, earning income.

In conclusion, it is advisable to always reduce and reuse materials instead of recycling. Reducing and reusing products helps in preventing pollution that results from recycling materials. In addition, reducing and reusing products leads to environmental sustainability for future generations. Also, reusing and reduce of materials saves energy and money that could have been spent on recycling. Reducing and recycling products evades consumers from the challenges like substandard products and losses that result from recycling. However, opposers claim that recycling products conserves natural resources, reduces landfills, and provides employment. Generally, opposing views are true, however, the consequences of recycling products are devastating; therefore, they should only be used as a last resort. Having considered both sides, the arguments opposing recycling are so much convincing. Therefore, reducing and reusing products is recommended because it is the most justifiable way to avoid challenges related to recycling.

Works Cited

Alabi, Okunola A., et al. “Public and environmental health effects of plastic wastes disposal: a review.” J Toxicol Risk Assess 5.021 2019: 1–13.

Awoyera, P. O., and Adeyemi Adesina. “Plastic wastes to construction products: Status, limitations and future perspective.” Case Studies in Construction Materials 12 (2020): e00330.

Bahrami, Amin, Gabi Schierning, and Kornelius Nielsch. “Waste recycling in thermoelectric materials.” Advanced Energy Materials 10.19 (2020): 1904159.

David, Arokiaraj, Yamuna Devi Thangavel, and Ramanarayan Sankriti. “Recover, recycle and reuse: An efficient way to reduce the waste.” Int. J. Mech. Prod. Eng. Res. Dev 9 (2019): 31-42.

Kishore, Kamal, and Nakul Gupta. “Application of domestic & industrial waste materials in concrete: A review.” Materials Today: Proceedings 26 2020: 2926–2931.

Li, Bowen, et al. “The Environmental Impact of Plastic Grocery Bags and Their Alternatives.” IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science. Vol. 1011. No. 1. IOP Publishing, 2022.

Rashid, Muhammad Imtiaz, and Khurram Shahzad. “Food waste recycling for compost production and its economic and environmental assessment as circular economy indicators of solid waste management.” Journal of Cleaner Production 317 2021: 128467.

Tan, Sze-yin, et al. “Developments in electrochemical processes for recycling lead–acid batteries.” Current Opinion in Electrochemistry 16 2019: 83–89.


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