5 Reasons Why People Don’t Recycle and 5 Reasons They Should

My last post, “I Don’t Recycle” seems to have struck a chord with many. Leave it to the Care2 community to enlighten, elevate and express their opinions on why people do and do not recycle.

Most of us believe that recycling is ethically the right thing to do. From the comments on the post, it was evident that sadly, we all seem to have friends, family and acquaintances that do not recycle. Below are some of the reasons why people do not recycle and why they should:

5 Reasons Why People Do Not Recycle

1. “Recycling is inconvenient.”
This seems to be the number one reason why people don’t recycle—they don’t want to put in the extra effort. Some places have no pick-up. Some people say that they just can’t be bothered. Is that a good enough reason?

2. “I do not have enough space in my home to recycle.”
The lack of space is an issue for many. People don’t want to see garbage cans with a little storage space for recycling bins on the side; the extra trash is an eyesore. Is that a good enough reason?

3. “If they paid me, I’d recycle.”
Some countries fine people for not recycling. Some regions pay for just bottle recycling (we know that works). Some areas have no penalties or incentives for recycling. Is that a good enough reason?

4. “Recycling doesn’t make a difference. So why do it?”
Misinformation about overflowing landfills, depleted resources and climate change has convinced some people that recycling doesn’t make a difference. They believe there is no problem. Is that a good enough reason?

5. “It is just to hard to do.”
Since there are so many facets to recycling – bottle, plastic and paper, it’s hard to decipher which kinds go where. Is that a good enough reason?

Related: 5 Things You Should Never, Ever Put in Your Recycling Bin


5 Reasons Why People Should Recycle

1. “Recycling saves energy.”
Recycling saves energy because the manufacturer doesn’t have to produce something new from raw natural resources. By using recycled materials we save on energy consumption, which keeps production costs down.

2. “Recycling reduces landfills.”
Recycling reduces the need for more landfills. No one wants to live next to a landfill.

3. “Recycling preserves our resources and protects wildlife.”
By recycling, we reduce the need to destroy habitats for animals. Paper recycling alone saves millions of trees.

4. “Recycling is good for the economy.”
Recycling and purchasing recycled products creates a greater demand for more recycled goods. Goods made from recycled materials use less water, creates less pollution and uses less energy.

5. “Recycling helps our climate problems.”
Recycling produces considerably less carbon, which reduces the amount of unhealthy greenhouse gas omissions.

Related: Top 10 Most Important Items to Recycle

Add some more reasons why you do or do not recycle.

356 comments

Fred C
Fred Campbellabout a month ago

I try not to produce trash by reusing what I can. I refrain from using disposable plates and utensils, prefer to use cloth towels over paper, and refillable water bottles. Every little bit helps!

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Leslie Stanick
Leslie Stanickabout a month ago

People don't recycle because they are lazy, they think other people should clean up their mess.They think they are above recycling. They don't care how much other animals suffer from their garbage polluting water, soil and air. Selfish, inconsiderate and ignorant people don't recycle. Citizens need to be educated at an early age, continue to through the teen years and make recycling admirable at the workplace in their adult lives. There is nothing redeeming about someone who blatant;y disregards the health and safety of our eco systems, streets, oceans etc. Start fining heavily for littering and I bet it will stop. Economic penalties or recycling incentives make a difference. Also, businesses should be forced to ensure their materials are recyclable and that their customers know where to put their recyclable, biodegradable garbage. Note: Starbucks paper cups are lined with plastic and are not compostable! Let's give Starbucks a HUGE thumbs down for that, and get them on board with responsible recycling.

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H M
H M2 months ago

Considering how many places don't have access to municipal recycling, some private company would come up with a way to ship the recycling to the correct places.

Plastic bags aren't wanted in regular recycling bins because they ruin the machinery.

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Molly Conger
Molly Conger2 months ago

I recycle, but my town only accepts the basic stuff.

One of my favorite ways to recycle is by making a Christmas tree chain, minus the paper one would normally use...

I wind up having to have small tests run at the hospital all the time and every time you go in, you have to wear that annoying paper/plastic bracelet with your information that won't come off unless you cut it. After I cut mine off I keep them, and someday I will make a chain of them to decorate our Christmas tree.

Having seen how many copies they make at once in my hospital when you only wear one is alarming. I can't begin to imagine how many bracelet sheets get thrown out! I've seen local doctor's offices decorate their trees with a medical theme, hanging up Band-Aids and empty/unused blood vials and such, so a hospital bracelet chain would be a great addition!

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Sarah H
Sarah Hill4 months ago

thanks

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Fran away F
F site probs F4 months ago

I hope this article convinces some non-recyclers that recycling is worth their time.

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Melania P
Melania P4 months ago

Indeed, these reasons are stupid

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven5 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S5 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Olga N
Olga Nycz-Shirley5 months ago

Been recycling a long time. Thanks for the article.

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