Discovering trash on my beach depresses me. To see purple soda cans interrupt pristine spans of sand makes me sad. Plastic water bottles don’t help matters. Same goes for the empty bags of chips floating in with the ebb and away with the flow.
When I was less aware of the environment, I remember joking around with avid recyclers.
I’d tell them that recycling doesn’t do as much good as they think on the macro level. It makes industrial companies less efficient.
If everyone stopped recycling paper, for instance, the environmental responsibility to conserve and reuse would fall directly on the companies that are in the business of producing paper. They would have to improve their technology or else perish in the free market, and they would be forced to improve without the help from recyclers.
On the other hand, recycling takes the bulk of responsibility off companies. Recycling lets them bring a product into the marketplace that isn’t as cost effective or clean as it could be.
It follows that the so-called noble act of recycling actually puts consumers in a worse position since they are not getting the product as neatly as they could, and it also puts the environment in a worse position since industrial companies don’t have to concern themselves with advancing technology that protects it.
Don’t recycle. Do everyone and their surroundings a favor.
Needless to say, all this is rubbish. Although this train of thought seems feasible on some specious level, when given the option, I recycle. It takes everyone. I also pick up litter off the sand and toss it into city receptacles before the ocean chokes on it. And I don’t litter. Small actions like these constitute me doing my part.