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.


H M3 days 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.

Molly Conger
Molly C11 days 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!

Sarah H
Sarah Hill2 months ago


Fran away F
Fran away F2 months ago

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

Melania P
Melania P3 months ago

Indeed, these reasons are stupid

Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 months ago


Jerome S
Jerome S3 months ago

thanks for sharing.

Olga N
Olga N3 months ago

Been recycling a long time. Thanks for the article.

Jim V
Jim Ven3 months ago

thanks for sharing.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W4 months ago

When my parents were growing up, everything that could possibly be recycled WAS recycled out of necessity. These days, we live in such a throwaway society. However, this article has opened my eyes to different circumstances in different countries. Where I live, we have two garbage bins: one for all garbage, which is emptied weekly, and one for recycling, which is emptied fortnightly. It's really not that hard to put recycle-able materials into the recycling bin instead of the garbage bin - especially during a week when the garbage bin seems to fill up rather quickly!