Why Should We Recycle: Argumentative Essay

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Table of contents

  1. Recycling saves energy
  2. Recycling protects our marine life/oceans
  3. Recycling helps reduce global warming
  4. Opposing Argument
  5. Conclusion

Failing to recycle could contribute to the end of life on earth as we know it. Recycling should be compulsory in every household because this will eventually save energy, reduce global warming, and protects marine life. This is not happening as much as it should because many people believe that recycling is too expensive. The purpose of this text is to highlight the issues around helping the environment and enforcing changes.

Recycling saves energy

Topic sentence-There is more energy conserved in the processing of recycling.

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Processing raw resources such as; ore, wood, and oil to make metal, paper, and plastics requires a lot of energy.

Recycling metals, papers, and plastics require much less processing to turn them into usable materials.

For example, Aluminium is required to be extensively processed to isolate the aluminum metal. This uses an extreme amount of heat and electricity. This extreme amount of heat and electricity is not needed for recycled aluminum metal such as cans which can be simply cleaned and remelted. Recycling in this way saves 94% of the energy required to produce aluminum from ore.

To make new glass products, glass needs to be re-melted at extreme temperatures. By doing this, 10-15% of energy will be saved. If the glass is made by the original process, (melted sand and other minerals) none of this energy will be saved.

Metals have been the largest energy savings achieved by recycling. This is shown in the following energy savings of metals including, beryllium, (80% savings) lead, (75% savings) iron and steel (72% savings), and cadmium (50% savings).

Almost all recycling organizations result in energy savings, considering that the amount of energy saved can vary depending on the material being recycled. Over 89 million tons of municipal solid waste (boxed, glass, food, plants, cans, batteries, plastics, electronics, etc) were recycled/ composted saving enough energy for 30 million homes to be provided electricity (322,000 GWh of energy).

Extracting and processing raw resources helps to make recycling cheaper for commonly recycled products. Other costs can play important roles in the economics of recycling.


Recycling protects our marine life/oceans

Topic sentence- If rubbish is recycled, there will be less rubbish in the ocean and less harm to marine life.

Over 50% of waste in our oceans is plastic. This plastic never goes away but breaks into smaller pieces. Marine animals often mistake rubbish for food and after swallowing this can cause choking, starvation death, injuries, and entanglement. This can make it hard for them to swim or fly which can result in drowning.

In Costa Rica, a boat full of biologists came across an injured sea turtle with a plastic straw up its’ nose while collecting data about sea turtle mating. They were too far from a veterinarian, so they decided to remove the plastic straw immediately using some nearby pliers. After an immense amount of pain from the turtle, they finally removed the long drinking straw.

“We couldn’t believe what we had just pulled out of that turtle”, says Figgener.

After watching the YouTube video with 35 million views, it was heartbreaking to see or even read that this poor sea turtle was injured because of our litter.

There are many ways for rubbish to make its’ way into the ocean. Some of these ways include wind blowing rubbish from the streets or rubbish bins onto beaches, rubbish may travel through sewer pipes and waterways before reaching the ocean and rubbish can go through storm drains and may end up in the ocean.

Recycling helps keep plastics and other litter out of the ocean. Therefore, everyone should recycle to help other sea turtles and marine life who may be suffering from a similar cause.

Recycling helps reduce global warming

Topic sentence-Recycling can reduce the number of gasses that contribute to global warming.

Global warming occurs when carbon dioxide, other air pollutants, and greenhouse gasses collect in the atmosphere, absorb sunlight and solar radiation that have bounced off the earth’s surface. This radiation would normally escape into space, but these pollutants trap the heat and cause the planet to get hotter. This is known as the greenhouse effect (Amanda MacMillan 2016).

Global warming can be caused by burning fossil fuels, farming, and deforestation.

Fossil fuels such as oil, gas, and coal are being burned in large amounts in industrialized countries. These gasses are released into the atmosphere acting as an invisible ‘blanket’ to trap heat from the sun and warm the earth.

Methane gas is released into the atmosphere after cows eat. This contributes to global warming since the methane gasses also trap the heat from the sun.

Forests absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) from the air and release oxygen back into it. Many rainforests are being cut down to make wood, and palm oil and to clear away farmland, roads, oil mines, and dams.

Landfills are also a cause of global warming because of the gasses that they produce.

Landfills were not designed to break down waste, only to store it even though the rubbish does slowly decompose in an oxygen-free environment. With less oxygen, methane is produced from bacteria found in organic waste. Methane is a very dangerous chemical that contributes to climate change. Methane is 25-72 times more potent than carbon dioxide and both contribute to global warming. About half of the rubbish we produce is called organic trash (food and paper). This means that there is a very high amount of methane produced from organic products.

Modern landfills have been made to collect methane through a layer of pipes on top of the waste layer. Another design vents the methane into the air to then collect and burn it to produce energy.

If we cut back on waste, we can save space by keeping recyclable products out of landfills and reducing the number of gasses being produced.

Opposing Argument

Many people believe that recycling is expensive due to the high capital costs. An example of this starts from a milk bottle. After rinsing the empty milk bottle, it is placed in the recycling bin. A rubbish truck then empties your bin and takes the contents to a recycling center where staff sorts the recyclables even further. This recycling center can cost around 11 million dollars to construct.

Although recycling centers cost a large amount of money to set up, the consequences of inaction are far greater. These consequences would result in a greater impact on global warming and impact on our environment.


It is very clear that everyone should recycle to save the environment. A healthy environment, inclusive of its ecosystems, is essential to maintaining life.

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Why Should We Recycle: Argumentative Essay. (2023, April 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 30, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/why-should-we-recycle-argumentative-essay/
“Why Should We Recycle: Argumentative Essay.” Edubirdie, 21 Apr. 2023, edubirdie.com/examples/why-should-we-recycle-argumentative-essay/
Why Should We Recycle: Argumentative Essay. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/why-should-we-recycle-argumentative-essay/> [Accessed 30 May 2024].
Why Should We Recycle: Argumentative Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Apr 21 [cited 2024 May 30]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/why-should-we-recycle-argumentative-essay/

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