One reason why recycling is a waste of time is the misconception that the process is “perfect.” Some people believe that recycling makes us feel good about the environmental impact we’re having. In reality, recycling does not eliminate waste or fight climate change. Critics worry that this mindset will cause people to think that recycling is an effective way to offset their environmental impact. While this sentiment may be understandable, the actual process is actually more destructive.
During the middle ages, blacksmiths used scrap metal to make armour and women used nylons to make parachute materials during WWII. Today, the U.S. landfill space is plentiful and the costs of recycling can exceed the cost of landfill waste disposal. Moreover, some materials cost more to recycle than others. In many cases, city governments do not recycle glass or plastic. Ultimately, the costs can vary based on the material that is being recycled and the administration of the recycling program.
In addition to waste materials, paper is a particularly problematic material. Each time it is recycled, paper fibers get shorter. That means that there’s no need to recycle paper after six times. Instead, recycled paper is turned into egg cartons and toilet paper. These materials aren’t used again and become waste. Moreover, recycling paper is more expensive than manufacturing products from virgin paper. Recycled paper uses significantly less energy, thereby reducing the cost of production.