What Are Some Pros and Cons of Recycling?

Some pros and cons of recycling are that recycling reduces energy consumption and pollution, but it also has a high initial cost and many recycled products are not durable. In general, however, the positive aspects of recycling far outweigh the few points that are on the negative side.

Recycling is defined as using materials that normally are considered waste and transforming them into another useful product. Some types of materials that are commonly recycled include:

  • Plastics such as milk jugs, shampoo bottles and two-liter soda bottles.
  • Metal cans and aluminum including soup and vegetable cans, coffee cans, soda cans and beer cans.
  • Glass bottles and jars like baby food jars, jelly jars or pickle jars.

A wide variety of items are made from recycled materials. A consumer can easily tell if a product is recycled because the words "Made from "x" percent of recycled materials" will be stamped on the item. Alternately, the recycle symbol of a triangle formed by three arrows may be found on the product. Some of the more common items made from recycled materials include:

  • Paperboard that is used to make cereal boxes, laundry detergent boxes and cake mix boxes.
  • Plastic bottles for shampoo, fabric softener and milk.
  • Paper items like toilet paper, writing paper and napkins.