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Is Recycling Destroying Itself? The more developed a country is, the tougher are its emission norms in terms of recycling; which is why more and more third world countries are showing up on the recycling map, simply because the laws there are not strict enough. Recycling can be simply defined as the process in which used materials can be processed into new products to prevent the waste of the remainder while reducing the consumption of virgin materials for producing other new products. Recycling has been going on for decades now in some form or the other, for one and only one sole reason—profitability. It is clearly a lot cheaper to recycle metals from scrap simply because scrap metal can be found easily and the metals can be smelted and remoulded without too much effort. Recycling aluminium scrap into aluminium alloy is a lot easier and energy efficient when compared to mining the ore and then processing the same to finally produce virgin aluminium of the same grade. Moreover in most cases of scrap metal recycling, the recycled metal tends to be a lot stronger when compared to a virgin metal of the same type. Also it causes a lot less damage to the environment compared to mining which is needed to produce the fresh metal. The need for fresh metals is present in the market due to the increasing demands for products that utilize them. Recycling metals simply brings about a balance; so that too much need not be mined and that that we reuse our resources, saving more for the future.

But today increasing norms worldwide are making it a lot harder to recycle anything. With the norms changing every year and getting stricter, recycling companies have to work harder at reducing emissions, which is quickly becoming an expensive affair. Technology today does not permit the recycling of any product to be emission or pollutant free. There is always a by-product that will need to be taken care of. But is this problem alone, trying to destroy recycling as a whole? The more developed a country is, the tougher are its emission norms in terms of recycling; which is why more and more third world countries are showing up on the recycling map. This is simply because the laws there are not strict enough. Recycling in developed countries usually deals with resources or products that deliver a higher yield making it profitable and again environmentally friendly when one compares the benefits with the profits and advantages.


Third world countries on the other hand deal with the tougher bits of recycling, the illegal products that could be fatal to people running the operations. There is a need for a better recycling system. One that involves a product; that after use can be recycled without the need for energy; reducing the carbon foot print to a bare minimum or even zero. But as of today, relaxing restrictions will be the only way recycling will survive until we can come up with better technology and techniques that can lead to zero emissions. Until then we just have to compare the odds—energy efficient recycling vs. resource hungry mining—and go with the more profitable option.


Is recycling destroying itself