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Knowing the importance of recycling is one of the best ways to motivate ourselves to do it. In addition to the general ideas that we all know, such as saving natural resources, reducing pollution or energy efficiency, recycling is a source of wealth that generates employment and constitutes a millionaire business .

However, the differences are significant globally, both when it comes to recycling and in terms of its use as a source of income. This means that some countries make recycling a real reef economic , exported trash others, while the vast majority renounces exploit this potential and end up generating waste and wasting energy, money and natural resources.

You may also be interested in: Types of recycling
  1. The three R
  2. The big business of recycling
  3. Infographics

The three R

If the public in general and, of course, also industrial policies and processes had the theory of the three r’s in mind when consuming, landfills would not be as saturated as they are today. Instead of the prevailing consumerism, thanks to the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) the miracle of throwing away less garbage, preserving the environment and, in short, being a much more conscientious consumer or producer would work.

In addition, at the domestic level, the three Rs translate into savings and a lower carbon footprint. Without going any further, recycling a stack of newspapers saves enough electricity to heat a house for about 12 hours and recycling an aluminum can allows you to keep a TV or computer on for three hours. Or, even more surprising, turn on a 100-watt light bulb for 20 hours. If the bottle is made of glass, light it allows recycling for 4 hours, and 11 plus if it is a bottle of plastic .

The big business of recycling

In addition to the good practices of reducing and reusing , recycling completes the circle of the three r’s, taking advantage of a waste after subjecting it to a process that transforms it. We can do it at the domestic level, through home recycling, which offers great possibilities for savings and creative expression for decorative and practical purposes at the domestic level.

In this sense, the reuse and recycling carried out by citizens is a way of carrying out eco-friendly practices that in turn help us to moderate consumerism and, therefore, also save good money. Likewise, an active collaboration is expected from the citizen when it comes to recycling the waste generated at home through its separation (colored containers) and the use of the clean points.

In addition to the goodwill of the citizen , garbage also moves large amounts of money and reactivates the economy, but not always in the desired way. There are many organizations and entities that participate and take their share of the cake. In Spain, according to PlasticsEurope, recycling and energy recovery of waste would inject more than 300 million euros and could translate into 33,000 jobs.

A promising panorama, but very different from what the mirror of reality reflects. Currently, corruption and fraud around waste management contracts are frequent. Without forgetting economic interests that go in the opposite direction, derived from the international garbage trade, in which both those who import and those who export earn money. Therefore, for some countries it is profitable not to recycle.


Plastic recycling in our country is an illustrative example . In Spain, more than 10 billion plastic bags are used every year, although only 11 percent are recycled, when it takes a whopping 150 years to degrade.

If all the discarded plastic were recycled, it would generate benefits worth 2,000 million euros a year, more than 30,000 jobs and it would save energy that we do not really have, since it has to be bought from other countries. In this way, energy dependence would be reduced, warns PlasticsEurope.

If you want to read more articles similar to Infographic about recycling , we recommend that you enter our Recycling and waste management category .

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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