27 Aug 4 Reasons Why It’s So Bad to Not Recycle Cardboard
Cardboard is one of the most commonly used materials for packing electronics and food. Because of this, it is one of the items that is recycled along with used clothes, electronics, and plastic. Recycling cardboard helps reduce solid waste, reduce demand on our natural resources, reduce the amount of trash going to the landfill, and contribute to cleaner air. On the other hand, not recycling cardboard has negative effects.
Following are 4 reasons why it’s so bad to not recycle cardboard:
1. It Ends Up in Landfill
Although the cardboard is made of paper, this product creates a lot of weight and takes up a lot of space. And since its used extensively for packaging, it is found everywhere and can make up a large proportion of household waste. In fact, paper and cardboard can make up between a quarter and a half of the entire household waste produced every year. Imagine the amount of landfill space it would take up if it is not recycled.
A landfill is not a pleasant place. It gives off a nasty odor, pollutes the environment, and contaminate the waterways and surrounding earth, posing a health risk. Achieving a zero-landfill waste stream is not possible if cardboard is not recycled.
2. It Negatively Affects Wildlife
Cardboard is made from wood pulp and cellulose fibers, which means that in order to make new cardboard, it is necessary to cut down new trees. If you don’t recycle cardboard, then the number of trees that need to be felled increases. This leads to the destruction of the surrounding habitat and wildlife as well. So, the overall effect of not recycling cardboard is significant on a large scale.
3. It Increases the Amount of Methane in the Atmosphere
Since cardboard is biodegradable, it produces Methane (the greenhouse gas) as it breaks down. If you don’t recycle cardboard, then it will end up in landfill and increase the amount of Methane that is released into the atmosphere. As a result, it will take up unnecessary space and contribute to global warming as well. The presence of Methane in our atmosphere is dangerous and cardboard recycling is one of the best ways to make sure that its amount is reduced.
4. It Increases Natural Resource Consumption
It is a well-known fact that reusing and repurposing products and materials saves us from having to yield new resources in order to convert them into useable materials and products. As opposed to creating one ton of the material from scratch, reprocessing saves up to 390 kWh of energy, requires only 75% of the total energy needed to create from scratch, and saves up to 1.1 barrels (46 gallons) of oil. So, when cardboard is not recycled, it puts pressure on the natural resources used in the production of the materials, increases natural resource consumption in other areas such as energy and oil, and results in more sulfur emissions as compared to creating the material from recycled resources.
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