How recycling can help our environment

Did you know that in 2003, a study by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Asian Development Bank recorded a total of 861,967 tons of waste collected in a year, within five Metro Manila cities alone? Imagine, it weighed nearly two and a half times as the Empire State Building.

Researchers from the University of Kitakyushu, Japan also found out that about 35,580 tons of garbage is generated every day in the Philippines: with every person producing an average of .4 kg of trash every day.

The reality is, when we dispose garbage, it doesn’t just disappear. Most of our trash end up in landfills, but little do we know that the unmanaged waste end up in the ocean. Researchers from the Ocean Conservancy have found that an area of plastic waste four times the size of the Philippines exists in the Pacific Ocean today, and it’s called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a gathering of garbage in the Pacific Ocean, which come from several countries. It eventually breaks down into microplastics, threatening our marine ecosystem, and possibly ending up in our food.

Swift action from each and every one of us is needed if we want to mitigate the effects of garbage pollution.  Recycling is a great way to address this.

Recycling is known as the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. It is a way of repurposing items to put it into better use, instead of disposing.

Here are the ways recycling can benefit the environment:

Recycling helps reduce waste

Studies have found that 95% of solid waste generated from households in the Philippines can still be reused or recycled. This is a significantly large number which can translate to a large reduction of wastef we truly set apart our recyclables from our disposables.

Recycling saves resources

When we recycle, we create new products out of our used materials, thus lessening the need to consume natural resources or purchase new items.

Recycling reduces air pollution

Aside from garbage polluting our waters, it also pollutes the air through incineration. Many consider burning garbage as a common way to eliminate waste. This poses an extreme danger to our health as the smoke from burning plastic releases toxic chemicals such as carbon monoxide. Through recycling and proper waste segregation, the air pollutants from conventional waste disposal are reduced.

Recycling cuts down amount of waste in landfills

Currently, the country is facing scarcity of new landfill sites, with some cities having landfills that are forced to close due to full capacity. All this unmanaged waste will likely end up in our oceans, or even in our drinking water. Through recycling, waste that end up in landfills can be reduced.

Throwing trash is something that has become second nature to us due to its convenience. But we must be conscious of our habits and consider whether our waste can still be reused or recycled. It’s one small act for us, and it is something our environment and our future generations will thank us for.