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.


Richard B
Richard B1 months ago


Frances G
Past Member 6 months ago

thank you

hELEN h8 months ago


HEIKKI R10 months ago

thank you

Chrissie R
Chrissie Rabout a year ago

Lazy, willfully ignorant and self-entitled. Harsh? Yes, and true!

Greta L
Past Member about a year ago

thank you

Danuta W
Danuta Watolaabout a year ago

Thanks for posting .

Chrissie R
Chrissie Rabout a year ago

Lazy and selfish and willfully ignorant!!!

Fred C
Fred Campbell1 years 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!

Leslie Stanick
Leslie Stanick1 years 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.