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Does recycling work? Show more Show less

Recycling is increasingly encouraged by environmentalists and society as a whole. It helps people throw away less trash and reduces waste in the environment. However, not all items can be recycled and still end up in landfills for decades. Does this mean that recycling works or is it blown out of proportion? What are the benefits of recycling?

No, recycling isn’t as effective as it seems Show more Show less

Although recycling helps the environment to some extent, its success is blown out of proportion. Some materials can’t be recycled, and there’s still waste being poured back into the environment.
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People don’t take recycling seriously

Let’s be honest, people are lazy. Recycling is so easy to do, but people don’t recycle like they should.
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Context

The Argument

Although recycling is a good idea, people won’t follow the idea to a “T”. People are lazy and hope that others in society will carry out world changing positive actions, without themselves having to. Even if people will bother to sort their trash at all, they won’t do it properly. In Minnesota, 15% of the material recycled actually can’t be recycled at all and is labeled waste.[1] Functionally, people will just throw anything into the recycling bin to “better” the environment.

Counter arguments

With enough teaching, people will realize what can and can’t be recycled. The problem now is how many people recycle. Only 34% of people in America recycle, and in Italy 36%.[2] Progress is increasing but slowly. So, before regulations can be enforced, the numbers need to increase.

Framing

Premises

[P1] People won’t recycle properly and will be lazy and ineffective. [P2] There is no point in putting resources into encouraging recycling.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] People do faithfully recycle, and it does prove to be effective.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. http://www.startribune.com/how-much-of-what-we-think-we-re-recycling-is-actually-getting-recycled/512909491/
  2. https://www.planetaid.org/blog/recycling-rates-around-the-world

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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 4 Mar 2020 at 15:24 UTC