People often wonder if it is worth the time and energy spent on recycling, whether recycled products really work and when waste is actually recycled. Here are 4 myths about recycling that you need to know:
1. You cannot recycle crushed cans and bottles
This finding is false. In any case, these materials will be crushed in the recycling process, so there is no real problem in disposing of the materials already in this state.
2. Materials can only be recycled once
This is another popular misconception that has been around for a long time. Even if this carries a certain truth (as in the case of plastic), other materials such as aluminium and glass can be recycled as many times as necessary, without altering the quality of the product in any way.
Plastic is different because it does not have such a long service life in relation to other materials: water bottles, for example, do not return to being water bottles with recycling. Usually, this material is transformed into raw material to be used in the manufacture of other materials such as clothes, upholstery, carpets and other non-recyclable items.
In the case of paper, whenever it is recycled, it suffers some damage, however, the quality of recycled paper in recent years has evolved a lot. A conventional piece of paper can be recycled 5 to 7 times without losing quality. After that, they can still be used in egg cartons or in some other more rustic packaging.
3. Products made with recycled materials are of inferior quality
A few decades ago, products made from recycled materials were often considered below average in terms of quality. The recycled paper was grey and thick, and the plastic was considered not very resistant. However, manufacturers have made considerable advances in quality as the demand for recycled products has grown significantly over the years. Numerous studies show that paper with recyclable content has high quality performances. Currently, we can use recyclable paper, glass, metal and plastic packaging even for food.
4. Recycling uses more energy than doing something new
According to the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States, recycled aluminium cans save 95% of the energy needed for production, compared to when they are made with materials extracted from nature. The recycling of steel and brass saves from 60% to 74%; about 60% paper; plastic and glass save about a third.
These myths about recycling can bring many problems, as they prevent people from adopting sustainable and friendly practices in their daily lives. Creating a simple recycling schedule in our lives is already a good first step to become a planet saviours.