How Does Recycling Help the Environment?

recycling-environment Credit: Getty Images/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Recycling helps to reduce landfill waste by diverting materials back into the supply line. The process reduces the energy used in manufacturing and the greenhouse gases such processes create. It conserves natural resources for future generations and saves money for current ones.

Landfills create many environmental problems. As materials break down, they have the potential to contaminate the water supply as well as the atmosphere. Reducing the volume of materials in landfills protects humans, plants and animals. Recycling the fiber from paper and cardboard that once went to landfills is just one way to reduce the volume.

Converting raw materials into useful forms requires energy. However, as recycling becomes more popular, manufacturers are able to use less energy. In the aluminum industry, recycling has helped to bring a 40 percent reduction in the carbon footprint over the period from 1995 to 2014, according to The Aluminum Association.

Some natural resources are non-renewable. Others take years to produce. Recycling paper also reduces the number of trees needed for pulp in producing new paper. Recycling water bottles and plastic bags reduces the amount of petroleum used in their production.

Recycling ink jet cartridges benefits the environment in all these ways, while also saving the consumer money. For some consumers, the economic benefit is reason enough to encourage recycling.