Reuse is an essential part of three R’s. Where every other part of the recycling process requires some extra efforts or monetary expenses, reuse is the only process which can effectively contribute without any extra monetary cost. For Example, Plastics take anywhere between 10 to 1,000 years to decompose depending upon the type of plastic. According to Global Industry Analysis, estimated plastic usage worldwide was more than 300 million tons in 2015. This can effectively bring down by reuse.
I started to think about the process of reusing often when my carpet cleaner was telling me how he just had a new fence set up from old doors from houses that he cleaned when people were moving out. This fence seriously now has doors side to side lining his property as his fence, kind of like the picture below. So kudos to my buddy who got me hooked on reusing.
Why is it so important to reuse?
“The best way to reduce waste is not creating it in the first place.”
So in the case of plastic, we cannot reduce due to its wide usage and as a well-known fact, plastic is not easily recyclable. Reuse can play a vital role here, as it cuts short the waste we produce, reduces the demand for manufacturing and the need for more landfill sites. Instead of disposing of any plastic material immediately after use, one can look for alternatives to reuse it. Thanks to some creative platforms for reuse on social media, there are over 100 ways to reuse a plastic bottle.
Steps to be taken
The very first step is to look for alternatives. One can switch to jute or cloth bags instead of plastic ones, as they can be used for a long period and are easily recyclable.
Consumers should strive to keep objects in the best condition possible and use according to the guidelines. This will increase the lifespan of the object.
Instead of proceeding immediately towards disposal or recycling, one should try all means possible to reuse the product.
Always buy durable goods which last longer.
Rent, borrow waste exchange, repair or remodeling. Any of these processes, if followed, will affect the entire chain of usage. Thus directly bringing down the hazardous disposal and manufacturing processes.
Advantages of Reuse
There are a slew of benefits by reusing any product.
Monetary – This will save a lot of money as it downsizes resource utility, reduction in manufacturing and transport, waste management and transport. Thus, this is a simpler method with advantages on a large scale. These monetary benefits could be used to advance the recycling process/ technology and focus our efforts on building a sustainable future.
Environmental – The biggest advantage will be to reduce the worldwide carbon footprint. Lately, we are seeing a rise in natural disasters triggered by the imbalance in nature. These events are indirectly connected to our misuse of resources. Thus reuse is indeed an essential part of this process.
Social – We will live in a better society with less pollution and few diseases. When people resort to dispose of plastics in a wrong way, it leads to exposure of harmful gases. We can avoid such untoward incidents and live a better life by resorting to using products as long as possible. If one finds an innovative way to put waste to use again, it will result in the upliftment of the society.