Back To Basic: What Is Recycling 3Rs?

What Is Recycling 3Rs?

Because of global warming, pollution, diminishing forests, and a limited supply of natural resources, people are becoming more aware of the importance of protecting the environment. 

The 3Rs in solid waste management generally refer to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Waste in the environment affects the air, water, land, animals, plants, and humans. When we use the environment as a waste dump, we take away land from wildlife, pollute the environment, and deplete natural resources. One way people are doing their part to protect the environment is adopting the Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Waste Program. 

What Is Reduce?

Reduce mean finding way to decrease or lessen the amount of trash we throw away. You can help reduce the amount of waste in your home by taking simple steps such as do not buy more than necessarily or on impulse. Buy what is necessary and in sufficient quantity but not in excess for the family use. People reduce by purchasing items that are durable and last a long time. By purchasing long lasting products with very little packaging, you will decrease the amount of waste entering a landfill.

Other ways of reducing waste include: 

  • Buy products that do not require a lot of energy and resources to manufacture. Look for products that contain environmentally friendly packaging. 
  • Reduce car use by riding your bicycle, carpooling with friends, walking, or taking the bus. 
  • Composting is a great way to dispose of kitchen waste. It is healthy for the soil and less waste will go into the landfill. 
  • Turn off lights that you are not using and use energy efficient light bulbs. 
  • Turn off the taps when brushing your teeth. This also helps you save your money.

Avoid disposable or “use once only” items but use the more durable goods, ex. plates, glasses, cutlery, napkins, towels, handkerchiefs, and, cloth diapers, instead of the disposal types. Use rechargeable batteries. Reducing will help with conservation efforts and decrease landfill waste and energy use. Reducing results in less pollution and a cleaner environment. It also helps conserve natural resources. 

What Is Reuse?

Reuse is the action or practice of using something again, whether for its original purpose (conventional reuse) or to fulfill a different function (creative reuse or re-purposing). It should be distinguished from recycling, which is the breaking down of used items to make raw materials for the manufacture of new products. Reuse – by taking, but not reprocessing, previously used items – helps save time, money, energy and resources. In broader economic terms, it can make quality products available to people and organizations with limited means, while generating jobs and business activity that contribute to the economy.

Historically, financial motivation was one of the main drivers of reuse. In the developing world this driver can lead to very high levels of reuse, however rising wages and consequent consumer demand for the convenience of disposable products has made the reuse of low value items such as packaging uneconomic in richer countries, leading to the demise of many reuse programs. Current environmental awareness is gradually changing attitudes and regulations, such as the new packaging regulations, are gradually beginning to reverse the situation.

One example of conventional reuse is the doorstep delivery of milk in reuse-able bottles; other examples include the reconditioned furniture, the retreading of tires and the use of returnable/reusable plastic boxes, shipping containers, instead of single-use corrugated fiberboard boxes.

What Is Recycle?

Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. It is an alternative to “conventional” waste disposal that can save material and help lower greenhouse gas emissions. Recycling can prevent the waste of potentially useful materials and reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, thereby reducing: energy usage, air pollution (from incineration), and water pollution (from land-filling).

Recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction and is the third component of the “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” waste hierarchy. Thus, recycling aims at environmental sustainability by substituting raw material inputs into and redirecting waste outputs out of the economic system.[

There are some ISO standards related to recycling such as ISO 15270:2008 for plastics waste and ISO 14001:2015 for environmental management control of recycling practice.

Recyclable materials include many kinds of glass, paper, cardboard, metal, plastic, tires, textiles, and electronics. The composting or other reuse of biodegradable waste—such as food or garden waste—is also considered recycling. Materials to be recycled are either brought to a collection center or picked up from the curbside, then sorted, cleaned, and reprocessed into new materials destined for manufacturing.

Let’s support recycle to be your daily habit, even buy reconditioned item to save our earth.