What Would Happen If People Did Not Recycle?

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Without recycling, Earth's natural resources would diminish even more quickly than they already do from human activity. Using items made from recycled material, such as paper, helps prevent deforestation. Recycling also reduces the amount of trash cluttering the planet.

Recycling involves finding new uses for old materials. For example, throwing plastic bags away creates clutter and danger for wildlife, but recycling the torn plastic and reconstituting it into a new bag means people do not have to pull oil out of the ground and use it to make a new plastic bag. Without recycled paper and wood products, the world's forests would continue to be cut down to create new products. Because trees and plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, this would deprive the atmosphere of its oxygen, thus harming the delicate carbon cycle.

As organic and non-organic trash decays, it gives off gas that is harmful to humans and animals that inhale it. It also seeps into soil and water, polluting water and food supplies. This makes it more difficult to create food that people can eat safely. In addition, carbon dioxide given off by trash can contribute to global warming by preventing the sun's rays from reflecting back into space.