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The History Of Recycling & How It Looks Today

The concept of recycling has been around for centuries, but it didn’t become popular until the late 1960s. Since then, recycling has become an integral part of our lives and our environment. In this article, we will explore the history of recycling, the modern state of recycling, and its impact on our world today.

The Roots of Recycling: Ancient Practices and Ideas

Recycling has been around since the dawn of civilization. People have always reused materials to create new items or to conserve resources. In some cases, civilizations were even encouraged to recycle by their own religious beliefs or laws.

For instance, in ancient Egypt, metal tools and weapons were melted down and remade into new items rather than being thrown away after use. Similarly, the Chinese practice of papermaking was based around reusing cotton rags for material. The first known large-scale modern recycling effort began in 1776 during the Industrial Revolution when scrap iron was collected from factories and homes throughout England for reuse in the industry.

The Modern Recycling Movement: Influential People and Events

The modern recycling movement began in the late 1960s with a few influential people and events. In 1963, a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology revealed that Americans were generating twice as much waste per capita compared to ten years prior. This sparked media attention and public outrage, leading to new laws regarding waste management and reuse.

Meanwhile, environmentalist groups like Earth Day Network continued to champion recycling efforts throughout the decades to come. The most significant turning point in the modern-day recycling movement was when China banned imports of recyclable materials in 2018 due to contamination issues. This led countries around the world to invest heavily in improving their own internal infrastructure for recycling and reuse.

Recycling Today: The Impact on Our World

Today, recycling is more popular than ever before. Over 60% of all waste is recycled – a number which continues to increase thanks to innovative technologies and educational efforts by organizations. Recycling has been instrumental in not only reducing humans’ impact on the environment but also creating jobs and stimulating economic growth across multiple industries.

Furthermore, new initiatives are being developed every day to help reduce our reliance on single-use plastics as well as create better systems for resource management and reuse. For example, skip hire from places like JustHire Skips is an increasingly popular choice for waste management and disposal, as it encourages the recycling of materials that would otherwise go to landfill or incineration.

What are the Benefits of Recycling for Businesses and Individuals?

The benefits of recycling for businesses and individuals are numerous. By reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills, both businesses and individuals can help reduce their environmental impact. Recycling also helps conserve natural resources as materials such as paper, aluminum or plastic can be reused instead of being manufactured from new sources.

This can lead to cost savings while also promoting sustainability in our communities. Furthermore, recycling can create jobs by encouraging manufacturers to use recycled materials and creating more local markets for those materials.

Finally, recycling helps reduce air and water pollution by reducing the need for energy-intensive processing of raw materials during manufacturing processes. Therefore, it is important that we all work together to ensure a cleaner future by properly disposing of our trash and making sure that recyclable materials are recycled.


In conclusion, recycling is an integral part of our society today, which can be traced back centuries ago. Despite its long history, recycling has seen a massive resurgence of interest and investment in recent years, leading to more sustainable practices and better economic opportunities worldwide. As we continue to look for ways to reduce our environmental impact, the importance of recycling will likely only grow in the years ahead.

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