A landfill site in the United Kingdom which highlights the need for waste recycling

Has Waste Recycling Made a Difference to The Environment?

The United Kingdom has been transformed into a recycling nation. With the health of the planet a recognised problem worldwide, an effort has been made to preserve our home and to reduce our collective carbon footprint. The weapon of choice for this fight against global warming has been waste recycling. Each and every homeowner in the UK will sort their waste products into their respective bins and play their part in saving the planet, but is all this effort in vain? Is our commitment to waste recycling really making a difference in the grand scheme of things?

Although we invest in these governmental strategies to reduce our carbon footprint, is waste recycling going to be making a real difference? And on a more basic level, what is the point of waste recycling? The concept behind recycling as a whole is that it reduces the need to consume raw, natural materials and limits the amount of energy needed to manufacture those materials into consumables. Particularly in the case of packaging and the more ‘everyday’ items, recycling eases the strain on the landfill epidemic and abolishes the need to continuously harvest natural materials. Even in terms of manufacturing, when using recycled materials, the whole process is far less energy-sapping than when using non-recycled materials. Away from the industrial side of things, recycling is largely beneficial for the environment and habitats. The benefits of recycling are abundantly clear, but the simple fact of the matter is that waste recycling is only a small piece of the puzzle.

The UK cannot be accused of a lack of trying, at least. Ever since the Household Waste Recycling Act was introduced the United Kingdom in 2013, the government has provided every home with recycling bins for glass, cardboard, paper, and plastics. By physically urging everyone to recycle, the UK has seen its waste recycling rates reach a respectable 44 per cent.

To contextualise these facts and figures, let’s compare the UK to countries around the world. In England alone, our overall recycling rates reside around the 39 percent, give or take one or two percent depending on sources. When compared to the United States of America (34%) and the developing Japanese (21%), the effectiveness of the UK’s recycling programme seems to be commendable. Evidently, there is a large scope for improvement, particularly when you compare the recycling efforts of the UK against the likes of Germany and Belgium, who boast rates of 62 per cent and 58 percent respectively.

Despite more of a concentrated effort in the attempt to reduce the effect of global warming, there is still a long way to go. Although the waste recycling figures make for pleasant reading in terms of waste recycling, there are a number of elements, including the ocean, landfill and emissions, which all contribute to the bigger picture of global warming. At a household level, the efforts in waste recycling is one of few things we can do to help in the efforts to save the planet, along with limiting personal vehicle travel and excessive energy use. The onus is on the government and respective agencies, as well as manufacturing companies, to combat the ever-growing landfill problem and cleaning up the oceans, and ultimately reduce the strain we are placing on the planet.

As an environmentally aware packaging company, here at Fast Pak Packaging, we have invested in a sustainable forest management programme to ease the strain manufacturers place on raw materials. For high-quality cardboard boxes with an environmentally friendly process behind the manufacturing of them, contact Fast Pak Packaging today on 0161 339 0697 and speak to a member of our team today.