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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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Plastic can’t be recycled

Some items can’t be recycled. Plastic is one of them. Unfortunately, people don’t seem to understand that.
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Context

The Argument

Plastic can’t be recycled. Plastic straws, plastic cups, and plastic bags can never be recycled.[1] Even if it’s melted down, its components are still harming the environment. Plus, even if they could be recycled, there isn’t a high demand in the market for it.[2] Since plastic is such a huge part of human waste, recycling is useless when such a prominent material cannot be recycled.

Counter arguments

Some plastic can be reused. Plastics are labeled to define what chemicals make them up and show whether they can be recycled,[2] such as those labeled PETE.[3]. There are also some more inventive uses of plastic that can't be recycled - it can and has been made into art. It can be cleaned out and used again, depending on what the product is. To claim it can’t be recycled isn’t true.

Framing

Premises

[P1] Plastic can’t be recycled and its components don’t disintegrate well. [P2] Plastics aren’t in high demand to be recycled. [P3] Therefore, recycling as a whole is futile.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Plastic components can disintegrate and be disposed of or reused properly.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://blog.nationalgeographic.org/2018/04/04/7-things-you-didnt-know-about-plastic-and-recycling/
  2. https://www.bettermeetsreality.com/reasons-why-some-plastic-cant-be-recycled/
  3. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-to-recycle-basics_n_578d7e8ce4b0c53d5cfab03d

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 17 Mar 2020 at 11:55 UTC