Should Recycling be Made Mandatory Across the World

All around the world, countless numbers of people like the thought of recycling, but most individuals do not choose to recycle. Recycling is a process in which you take materials that you would normally throw away and reuse them to form new products (Rinkesh). 

University students around the world conducted a study that concludes environmental awareness has to do with how much we choose to recycle (Ramayah). People who do choose to recycle trash or other recyclable goods usually do it to reduce the amount of pollution that enters the air, which can be one of the leading factors for climate change. Two other reasons as to why recyclists are in favor of reusing trash is because it can conserve some resources that help protect our natural habitats by lowering greenhouse emissions produced by harmful waste and save energy by reducing the amount of resources consumed by simply reusing them. For example, after drinking water from a bottle, use the same bottle and fill it with other available water to use again. (Superadmin). On the other hand, some individuals disagree with thoughts of mandatory recycling. This is because recycling can become expensive for some people to continue to participate in because of initial setup costs and shipping fees. Recycling could also increase the risk of dangerous intoxication by reusing trash or products that may have left over dirt and unsanitary substances that leads to different kinds of sickness (Ecologist). One other problem individuals have with converting waste is that it does not have a long-lasting effect because of how much material we use today, so people think that recycling is just a waste of time, money, and effort (Ecologist). Overall, recycling can be a great thing for the environment but is it great for us? This leads to many asking the question if the pros of recycling outweigh the cons, and if it should be mandatory for people around the world to take part in?

The first perspective of this argument is that we should make it mandatory for people around the world, but why? Making recycling mandatory would save most of our natural habitats and it could solve our complications with global warming. This is because by recycling, the amount of pollution that enters the air is reduced which can lead to less greenhouse emissions (Green Guardian). This source is a website formed by people from Minnesota who work with researchers and environmentalists that can give others around the world an idea of a great way to stay green and why reusing different products is great for our environment. The source overall is considered to be reliable but could be biased in a way because they only look at the results and studies in the state of Minnesota and not anywhere else. Landfills are also known to have a major impact on the amount of pollution in the world. By reusing products it can lessen the space taken in landfills, which reduces the pollution that landfill waste gives off to the environment (Rinkesh). Rinkesh is an environmentalist author with a vested interest in saving our planet. He wrote an article about the good things that come out of recycling but did not give a counter argument to oppose his explanations which can usually tend to make it a more credible source. Brenner, an author from ‘’ who has a vested interest in scientific studies, concluded a study that stated “about eighty percent of the material in landfills consist of solid waste, some of which could be recycled” (Brenner). This could be very crucial to saving our “what used to be green” earth. For Example, Pizza Hut is taking a part in reducing waste by using round pizza boxes. Using these boxes are proven to make less waste because of its round shape with less room. The box is made up of plant fibers so it can be organically composted which can also help save our environment (Washington Post). Washington post is overall a known and credible source around the world and the article that was written included a credible and unbiased author but no counter argument. One study across ten OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation Development countries) countries demonstrated that recycling is great for the environment and should be a “civic duty” because it does a large amount of good for the Earth (Halvorsen). Another reason why many people believe that recycling should be mandatory is because of its ability to save our natural habitats. Not recycling can cause climate change, and climate change can lead to lower amounts of dissolved oxygen which can overall endanger many of the wildlife habitats (Rogers). One example of trash affecting wildlife is the world wide problem of plastic in our oceans. Studies say that “more than 100,000 marine animals die each year from ingestion or entanglement with floating debris” (Rogers). For example, sea turtles are the main targets for the plastic debris in the ocean because the body structure of turtles causes the plastic to get stuck in their stomach no matter how big or small the trash is (Conserve turtles). Plastic is not the only harmful substance for the environment. Electronics can have the same dangerous effects just as regular trash. Electronic like materials can contain metals and hazardous chemicals which can get into the ground or water and make an environment more dangerous and toxic for wildlife and for humans. A geological survey states that nearly two-thirds of Americans get their water from freshwater sources which can be contaminated from electronics to produce a harmful lifestyle (Rogers). Most researchers say that just recycling our trash can help decrease the chances of a habitat being destroyed because we can keep the waste away from the animals and from us. The source Chris Rogers, who is an online marketer for an art business but has had jobs that include a pre-nursing biologist and a physiologist. Lastly, recycling can be a great way to save energy. When you make new resources it can consume a lot of energy, but just by recycling it can decrease the amount of energy used because products are being reused or not made again from scratch which decreases the energy rate because new materials are not being made (Geosciences). One example of where recycling is already mandatory in the United States is Seattle, Washington. Mandatory recycling was passed as a law in 2006 to oppose failing recycling rates. This law required recycled materials like paper, and cardboard to be sorted for businesses, and all basic recyclables like plastic, glass, and aluminum must be recycled by all households (Talk). The source ‘Talk’, also known as “EarthTalk” is featured in the Environmental Magazine. This is a credible source to get real information because the main points of the magazine include the environment. However, not all magazines are reliable due to biased and false information.

On the other hand, there is always a con to the pros of an argument. Many people believe recycling should be mandatory around the world but there are always individuals that disagree. One of the main reasons why they think reusing trash shouldn't be mandatory is because it can cost too much money for the people who are worried about the costs. They argue that the three-hundred dollars spent to send away recycled objects could be spent on something more useful than recycling (Tsang). Ella Tsang is an author and ambassador with an unknown vested interest but gives trustworthy points of why recycling should not be mandatory. Many say that it is easy to lose track of how much money you have spent on recycling and individuals who do take part in recycling do not know if they are doing anything positive for the environment (Smith). Kyle Smith, a national critic, has ranging points of views on why we should not recycle. Another reason to this side of the perspective is that there may be toxic substances left over from what the item was originally used for. The origin of the recycled products is unknown. Of those products they can come from unsanitary conditions, and the risk of individuals getting sick and spreading diseases increases (Ecologist). Re-used objects that include chemical exposure can also be harmful to the equipment that is being used to move waste from place to place or where it is being held. This statement has to do with the safety of the employees at a recycling industry to assure they stay safe and healthy from the chemicals found in trash. Which lets people argue that recycling should not be mandatory because if it was there would be a higher risk of coming in contact with hazardous chemicals (Leadpoint). Leadpoint is a website mainly for world economics. The article written is about the industry of recycling and explains the problems of recycling but gives different ways to solve the problems. Problems can also occur while recycling, like throwing something away in a recycling bin that is not actually meant to be recycled which can cause troubles in the composting process (Westervelt).The author has an interest in health and environmental sciences and is considered an expert in this subject, which can make her information reliable. Finally, the third reason why people think that composting and reusing products should not be required is because it does not have a long lasting effect towards the environment and could be just a waste of time. Most of the objects you recycle do not have a long life because it can either be overused or they can be too fragile to use over again (Ecologist). The source “Ecologist” is written by an anonymous author that gives the readers examples of why we should not recycle but also acknowledges the opposite point of view in the argument with a counter argument of why we should recycle.

Overall, my opinion is that recycling should be made mandatory for people around the world. I feel that the pros of recycling outweigh the cons, but we have to take action on the cons to make recycling even more safe and effective than it already is. 


Our world is already going through major problems with climate change and the trash left in the oceans or streets are killing wildlife, the planet and having an adverse effect on us people. Recycling can save the planet from dying as fast as it is and it’s not too late if we start now. A study found that if that people around the world were to recycle aluminum twice as much as we did today, then over a million tons of pollutants would be kept out of the atmosphere. Studies also suggest that if more people recycled it would reuse fifty-percent of the volume of water in landfills (Brenner). In conclusion, if recycling was mandatory around the world then these numbers would be higher and the planet would be cleaner and pollution would not be as much of a problem as it is today.