This planet has a limited amount of resources available. All our planet receives
from the outside in a reasonable amount is sunlight. We have found
(and probably mostly harvested) the resources that are easy to
Any resource (= material) that is transformed into a product
(= anything human-made) and is used for anything will be useless
as a product at some point of its existence. Ideally a product
is reused many times, but one day it needs to be transformed back
into a material and returned into the cycle of resources.
Here is the problem with the cycle of resources:
• If a product can be recycled doing so may result in less
pollution, less use of energy, less use of resources. That is
unfortunately not always the case. Our society's focus on recycling
results in millions of tons of one-way containers every year.
Alongside developed the attitude that if it can be recycled it
is acceptable, even desirable, to do so. Recycling works in a
few cases, in most other cases it is an energy-, pollution-, and
resource-intense delay of dumping materials.
• If a product is made from materials that cannot be recycled,
it will become a problem quite fast. When you have no use for
it any longer it will end up in a waste incinerator or in a land-fill
(e.g. shoes, airplanes, boats, most sports equipment, furniture,
clothing, suit cases).
• If the individual materials can be recycled but the product
cannot be returned to a recycling facility, it will be a problem
unless you disassemble the product (e.g. cars, home electronics,
and kitchen appliances). The labor to disassemble products that
are combinations of materials that could be recycled is way too
expensive. If you do not do it, it won't get done. Unless there
is a buck to be made differently.
The interruption of the cycle of resources results in resources
ending up as useless materials. It results in energy spent and
pollution caused for transforming materials into something we
can no longer use.
Look around you. Imagine what one day will happen to all the
things you own. How many of those things will ever be recycled
and made into something else? What happens to the rest?