4 Principles in Recycling

  1. Reduction is the first step.  When you purchase items at the store think about all the packaging used in each product.  A cereal box has a box and an inner bag.  Buying in bulk allows more space to be filled within that bag and therefore less trash to be consumed.
  2. Next, each item made can be reused as another item.  For instance, a milk jug can be used to store drinking water or even, after cutting off the top, it can be used as a planter.  Each time you can reuse an item, you minimize the amount of trash going into landfills and allow less energy to be used to produce more goods.
  3. Then, items that have been reused can also be recycled.  All items cannot be recycled.  What can be recycled depends on the market and the recycling programs within your area.  Usually, however plastic soda bottles and milk jugs, green and clear glass, cardboard, newspaper, and aluminum cans are recycled.  There are some places that recycle magazines, tin cans, and a myriad of other things.  Many grocery stores take recycled plastic and paper bags.
  4. Lastly, buy recycled items.  Without a consumer demand for recycled items, there is too much supply left in stockyards.  The more recycled items that are purchased by consumers, the lower the prices will go.  Buying recycled items is the most important part of the cycle.  Without people to produce such items, companies do not have enough money to keep recycling factories open.

(Source: http://www.afn.org/~afn21661/The%204%20R1.htm)


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