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Recycling - Literature review Example

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Recycling Introduction As more wastes are being produced, mother earth is slowly losing its breath consequentially endangering human and animal habitat. One way proven productive in addressing this problem is recycling, which does not simply reduce waste but also creates business…
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Download file to see previous pages Although recycling markets differ in developed and developing countries due to technology, information, and market power, one thing is sure: Government intervention and citizen’s cooperation are proven necessary to make recycling successful. Today, recycling, specifically plastic bag recycling has continually gaining much support. Understanding Recycling Although oftentimes used interchangeably, recycling differs from reuse. Reuse does not involve remanufacturing; whereas recycling, Geiser (2001: 219) defined, is collecting used materials for reprocessing and remanufacturing. Materials are recycled either through primary or secondary recycling, depending on the quality of the product material. Materials minimally degraded go through primary recycling producing similar product – Used aluminium cans can be recycled to make new aluminium cans (Miller & Spoolman 2011: G13). Materials almost wasted go through secondary recycling producing different product of lower quality (Geiser 2001: 219) – Used tires can be recycled into mats, shoes, safety surfaces, and many more (Saddleback 2009: 54). Recycling is an ancient practice and has continued ever since for almost the same reason – conservation. Though, conservation today is understood from a different framework. Before, people recycle mainly for personal economy (Geiser 2001: 217-218). Today, recycling is no longer a choice but a social responsibility for environmental reasons. The mounting solid waste around us threatens the earth’s life and human existence that recycling and tempering waste generation has to be taken is much needed (Purcell 1998, p. 190). The trend for recycling has started in the ‘70s with the greening of society and has been taken seriously in the ‘90s (D’Souza 2005: 2), seeing it more as an economic activity rather than a moral obligation (Walker & Desrochers 1999: 74) Truly, recycling today is making a big market worldwide, especially in developed and developing countries, perhaps because incentives are given for recycling businesses, since their need for recycling is greater, as consumerism is high and wastes are mounting – Every year the UK alone dumps 24M tonnes of recyclable materials (Birmingham Post 2009: 10). Particularly in OECD countries, recycling has become an important economic sector with more or less 1.5 million workforces, a $160 billion turnover every year, and more than 500 million tonnes physical throughput. (OECD 2006: 16) While in the United States, various states provide financial incentives for recycling businesses to manage wastes profitably (Gordon 1993: 30). Factors differentiating markets for recyclable materials are identified: “information failures, technological expertise, and market power” (OECD 2006: 15). Recycling newspapers and water bottles is an old practice, but recycling other items like cellphones, batteries, light bulbs, and others is not yet commonly understood (Holmes 2010: 38). Even for used plastic bags, which though have an available market (Koontz 1996: 42), a better technology for its recycling has yet to be seen. Fortunately, the Institute for Mining and Minerals, University of Kentucky claims that waste plastics can be recycled into commercially usable oil in a quick, efficient, environmentally-friendly process. (Society for the Advancement of Education 1994: 12) Importance of Recycling The importance of recycling are identified and ranked as follows: (1) recycling of resources, (2) saving forest resources, (3) preservation of global ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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