Recycling Helps Economy
In a recently released report and survey of the impact of recycling in South Africa the General Manager for South African Plastic Recycling Organisation (SAPRO), Annabe Pretorius, says that one of the most significant impacts of plastics recycling on the economy is job creation as well as reduction of carbon footprint and the re-use of non-renewable resources.
In her words: “Without this industry there would be more than 35,000 employees who would not have work and the industry is growing steadily with more and more manufacturers being created, which is creating more jobs.”
In addition to contributing to the economy of a country, recycling also carries many other benefits. In New York city, despite initial beliefs that recycling is a waste of tax payer money, the city leaders discovered that a redesigned, efficient recycling system could actually save the city $20 million and they have now signed a 20-year recycling contract.
Apparently, not all recycling programs are created equal. Some run more efficiently than others, so it drives home the point that recycling isn't expensive, a badly run recycling program is expensive.
So despite trying economic times, the solution isn't to reduce or eliminate recycling programs, which seem to be lagging since the economic downturn started, but to promote and improve them to make them profitable enterprises.
Besides, the more people recycle, the more cost efficient it gets. Compared to collecting waste, transporting said waste to landfills or incinerators, recycling not only turns recyclables into usable products, it produces raw materials that manufacturers in the U.S. can use, which reduces the pressure in the need to import raw materials from other countries.
Those who are innovative and imaginative will see used soda bottles, soda cans, and old paper products not as trash, but as raw materials equal to virgin raw materials.
It is without a doubt that recycling offers profitable business opportunities. As evident in the growing development in recycling metals. As in India. There appears to be a trend in developing countries importing recyclables from developed countries, to be reprocessed into raw materials and products that they then resell to developed countries for a burgeoning profit.
It takes a shift in perspective, however, if we want more people to recycle. Those who don't recycle need to realize that any post-consumer product, be it packaging or a electronic gadget that's no longer working, isn't actually waste. Recycle, contribute to sustainability and so called "trash" turns into something else we will find useful.