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Should Recycling Be Mandatory

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Argumentative Research Paper

We have kept track of temperature records for quite some time. These records show that the temperature of our planet is increasing as time passes by. Right now, we are in what some call a climate crisis. This means we need to act immediately and make changes to how we live each day to save our planet. If you live in a rural community, it’s likely that recycling isn’t even an option for you. This needs to change. Recycling should be not only available for everyone, but mandatory for everyone. Research shows that the average temperature of the Earth is increasing due to several human related activities such as deforestation, burning fossil fuels, and growing landfills; implementing recycling laws would slow the effects humans have on climate change.

Deforestation is happening at an insanely high rate, making a large and negative impact on our environment. Deforestation happens for multiple reasons, such as a continuously growing population and those individuals needing space for housing or finding areas to raise livestock and cattle. Every hour, roughly fifty acres of land is lost due to slash and burn agriculture (Bennett, 2017). The Amazon rainforest is home to so many different types of animals and plants, yet we continue to burn it down to free up space to raise animals to eat.

Everyone has to commute to work, school, the grocery store, and more. Unfortunately, most commuting comes from engines that burn fossil fuels. Trains, boats, cars, semis, and more all use gas or diesel, which are both fossil fuels. When fossil fuels are burned, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere (BBC). Carbon dioxide is a gas that plants and trees need to survive, but when there’s too much being created, it gets trapped in our atmosphere, increasing the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is where gases get trapped and create a layer, making it harder for the hot air in our atmosphere to escape, increasing the temperature of the Earth. The gradual heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and surface is known as global warming (Lallanila, 2018)

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Lastly, growing landfills continue to release more greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, which in turn is increasing the overall temperature of our planet. This point is possibly the most important one when trying to understand how recycling more could help us. Taking waste out of landfills and recycling or reusing the materials reduces the amount of methane gas being released from these landfills. Food that isn’t eaten ends up in landfills. The food spoils and releases methane, which is a form of greenhouse gas, into the air. One ton of methane traps just as much heat in our atmosphere as 84 tons of carbon dioxide (Bailey, 2017). In 2010, more than ten percent of all methane gas generated by humans was from the trash in landfills (Gies, 2016).

As I’ve become more environmentally conscious, I’ve started recycling in my home. Recycling makes me feel like I’m making a positive impact and slowly helping curb climate change. Overall, recycling saves energy and resources. When speaking about paper specifically, paper made from recycled material uses less than half the energy it would take to make paper from the original raw material. Roughly eighty percent of the items that end up in landfills could be recycled, but aren’t (Brucker, 2018). Part of this is because people aren’t educated enough on the benefits of recycling, or the downsides of having large amounts of trash. Plastics are usually easily recyclable, however when they aren’t, it takes an extremely long time for them to decompose. Recycling has more than just environmental perks, too. Increasing recycling in the United States would create more jobs and generate more money in our economy overall.

In conclusion, our Earth’s environment is changing because we are not making the necessary adjustments to our policies and regulations as we should. This can and will be extremely dangerous for our planet and the life on it. The United States is responsible for the most greenhouse gas emissions over any other country (Climate Action Reserve). Eventually, it will be too late and we won’t be able to fix this before it gets out of control. Creating recycling laws for the U.S. is a good start to slow the effects we have on our changing climate. We could offer more incentives to individuals and corporations who recycle. Rewarding those who participate in recycling will help encourage the positive behavior. Additionally, fining those who do not recycle recyclable products will aid in the implementation of taking recycling mainstream.

References

  1. Bailey, K. (2017, February 24). How the waste industry can lead on climate change. Retrieved from https://www.waste360.com/emissions/how-waste-industry-can-lead-climate-change
  2. Bennett, L. (2017, April 18). Deforestation and climate change. Retrieved from http://climate.org/deforestation-and-climate-change/
  3. Brucker, D. (2018, November 14). 50 recycling & trash statistics that will make you think twice about your trash. Retrieved from https://www.rubiconglobal.com/blog-statistics-trash-recycling/
  4. Climate change facts. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.climateactionreserve.org/resources/climate-change-facts/
  5. Fossil fuels and greenhouse gases. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/z8fn2p3/revision/1
  6. Gies, E. (2016, October 25). Landfills have a huge greenhouse gas problem. here's what we can do about it.. Retrieved from https://ensia.com/features/methane-landfills/
  7. http://climate.org/deforestation-and-climate-change/
  8. Lallanila, M. (2018, March 8). What is the greenhouse gas effect?. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/37743-greenhouse-effect.html
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Should Recycling Be Mandatory. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 4, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/should-recycling-be-mandatory/
“Should Recycling Be Mandatory.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/should-recycling-be-mandatory/
Should Recycling Be Mandatory. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/should-recycling-be-mandatory/> [Accessed 4 Mar. 2024].
Should Recycling Be Mandatory [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 27 [cited 2024 Mar 4]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/should-recycling-be-mandatory/
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