The 3Rs system - Recycling Essay Example

The principle of reducing waste, reusing and recycling resources and products is often called the “3Rs.” Reducing means choosing to use items with care to reduce the amount of waste generated while reusing involves the repeated use of items or parts which still have usable aspects and recycling means the use of waste itself as resources - The 3Rs system introduction. Eisenberg (2008) suggested that “reduce” as the starting point of 3R, and it to be the most crucial and effective factor of 3R. However, “reduce” is also the most difficult step to be conducted since it requires giving up and letting go things that is not unnecessary. “Don’t chase the latest fashions. They will age the fastest.” (Eisenberg, February 2008). Therefore, to make use of “reduce” in your daily life, durability, usefulness and essentialness are the things to be considered while buying something. Furthermore, “reuse” is the concept and the action applied before one recycles or disposes thing.

One should consider whether the thing is reusable before throwing it away. For example, a jam jar can be used to store leftovers, the food scraps can be used as fertilizer, and an old shirt can become a pajama top. By reusing, new resources are keep from being used for longer period of time, and postpone the timeline of old resources from entering the waste stream (Eisenberg, 2008). Moreover, “recycle” is the last “R” and it has caught on the best. This is because there are so many curb side recycling programs today (8,660 as of 2006, according to the EPA), which makes recycling easier. What keep it from being a total piece of cake are the rules. Every municipality has its own, and they are not always as straightforward as they could be (Eisenberg, 2008). According to human history, recycling has been a common practice for us with recorded advocates as far back as Plato in 400 BC. Archaeological studies of ancient waste dumps show less household waste (such as ash, broken tools and pottery) at that time.

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This shows that more waste was being recycled in the absence of new material as resources were scarce during that time. Archaeological studies also found that there are scrap bronze and other metals were collected in Europe and melted down for perpetual reuse during the pre-industrial times. In Britain, dust and ash from wood and coal fires was collected by ‘dustmen’ and then down cycled as a base material used in brick making. At that time, the main driver for these types of recycling was caused by the economic advantage of obtaining recycled feedstock instead of acquiring virgin material (Recycling, n.d.).

Moreover, during wartime such as World War I and World War II, these wars cause the shortages of resources and changing of world. As these problems happened, that massive government started to promote the importance of recycling through promotion campaigns in every country that involved in the war. The purpose of these campaigns is to urge those citizens to donate metals and conserve fibre as a matter of significant patriotic importance. For example, in 1939, Britain launched its Paper Salvage Campaign to encourage the recycling of materials to aid the war effort. After this, these resource conservation programs were continued in some other countries without an abundance of natural resources. Recycling (n.d.) stated that due to rising energy cost, the next big investment in recycling occurred in the 1970s. In short, this awareness started from the ancient time until now. As our world and society are undergoing evolution so this 3R system had become more and more important to us.

Reuse, reduce, recycle bring a lot of advantages to us. It not only benefits us but to the whole community. These are the advantages of doing it. According to United States Environmental Protection Agency (2013), recycling helps to reduce the amount of waste produced. This will end with less garbage in landfills and incinerators because it’s being recycled and reused. Besides, Wong (2011) states that without the industry for recycling, there would be more than 35,000 employees who would not have work and the best of this industry is that it is growing steadily with more and more manufacturers which leads to more jobs opportunities. Furthermore, United States Environmental Protection Agency (2013) states that recycling also prevents pollution caused by reducing the need to collect raw materials and saves energy. Besides, it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions that cause global climate change. Moreover, recycle helps sustain the environment for future generations and helps slows the consuming of natural resources which reduce the amount of resources needed to make the same item that we recycled.

Advantages of 3R undoubtedly can bring benefits to the society and are far more than its disadvantages. However, disadvantages of 3R still do exist. Stormy (2013) stated that a large disadvantage of recycling is that the recycling plants themselves can produce a large amount of pollution through the toxins that are released in some recycling processes. Each recyclable material has its own way of being recycled, some creating a great deal of pollution while others cause almost no problems at all. Another disadvantage of recycling is that each material will need to have its own special machinery and chemicals in order to be properly recycled. All of these things together can consume a large amount of electricity, causing energy companies to consume more natural resources while emitting harmful gases as separate factories must be set up for the recycling of materials.

According to Stormy (2013), the biggest disadvantage to recycling is that it gives the consuming public a wrong idea that they’re doing something that will benefit the environment. In fact, the only real benefit to the environment is to slow the damage from human folly. In conclusion, in order to build up a healthier and better environment, recycling is a crucial first step to start up the journey. However, human beings should also do some self-reflections and tackle the problem of how serious is the damage created by the human beings themselves. Not even recycling can help to prolong the life of mother earth without having the self-conscious of protecting the mother earth and avoid damaging the environment.

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