Chapter 19 Section 2 Reducing Solid Waste Reducing Solid Waste Source reduction is any change in the design, manufacture, purchase, or use of materials or products to reduce their amount of toxicity before they become municipal solid waste.
Source reduction also includes the reuse of products or materials. If we produce less waste, we will reduce the expense and difficulty of collecting and disposing of it. Buying Less and Lasting Longer Consumers can influence manufacturers to reduce
solid waste by buying products that have less packaging or that can be used more than once. For example, you could purchase dish towels instead of paper towels. Manufacturers could also reduce waste and conserve resources by redesigning products to use less material and to last longer.
Recycling Recycling is the process of recovering valuable or useful materials from waste or scrap. Recycling also refers to the process of reusing some items. Making products from recycled materials usually saves energy, water, and other resources. For example, 95% less energy is needed to produce
aluminum from recycled aluminum than from ore. About 70% less energy is needed to make paper from recycled paper than from trees. Recycling: A Series of Steps The steps of recycling include: - collecting and sorting discarded materials by type
- taking the materials to a recycling facility - cleaning the discarded materials so that they can be shredded or crushed - reusing the shredded or crushed material to manufacture new products - selling the new products to consumers Composting
Compost is a mixture of decomposing organic matter, such as manure and rotting plants, that is used as fertilizer and soil conditioner. Compost provides several benefits.
Degradable Plastics Photodegradable plastic, unlike nonbiodegradable plastics, is made to become weak and brittle when left in the sun for many weeks. Eventually, it breaks into pieces. Green plastic, is made by blending the sugars in plants with a special chemical agent to
make plastics. Problems with Degradable Plastics The main problem with degradable plastics is that the plastic parts are only reduced to smaller pieces, not eliminated. Degradable plastics can help reduce the harmful effects that plastic litter has on animals in the
environment. Although this type of plastic can help reduce the harmful effects of plastic litter, the plastic itself will remain just as long as regular plastics.
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