Recycling helps to prevent the disposal of the waste materials and reduce the use of virgin raw materials to manufacture products. Using existing waste material to manufacture products also tends to consume less energy and water resources as compared to using virgin material. The different types of materials that can be recycled include paper, plastic, metal, glass, wood, horticultural, tyres, food, etc.
Recycling is one of the 3 'R's - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (in order of sequence) in waste management. The sequence is important, as source reduction is usually the best way to minimise waste while recycling still has some impact on the environment and should be done last. Reduce by not creating the waste or minimising the waste in the beginning. Reuse by using the waste several times or for another purpose. Recycle by sending the waste to be processed as a resource.
Recycling is not THE solution to our overconsumption and waste problem. Recycling is only ONE of the waste management solutions to reduce the disposal of waste to our incineration plants and landfill, and encourage the reuse of used and waste materials.
Recycling is here to stay. Either you choose to criticize it and don't practice recycling. Or you can make it work and encourage others to recycle.