How do we recycle?

How do we recycle? - Candy (Leong) Hio Lam, Jan. 2020.

From our topic discussion regarding recycling on Tuesday, it was clear this topic brought about many emotions from individual members along with deeper understanding of the production cycle concerning recycling.

As Eva described, the process of ‘recycling’ could be defined as re-using, bringing things back into the production and sales chains. Exploring the deeper meaning of recycling; it would seem the relationship between profit and recycling can be seen as somewhat mutually exclusive. This could be due to the cost of production; whether it is cheaper to reinsert used products into the production and sales chain or producing new products. Therefore, in my opinion, it is somewhat dependent on the moral/ ethics of the producer to focus on profit- making or environmental morals.

Regarding emotions from members of the group, few members declared there were problems with recycling in student accommodations. They expressed their frustrations as they stated there was sufficient recycling information to sort out waste, but somehow tenants at the accommodation are unable to recycle. I also go through the same struggle at my student accommodation. Which is quite hard for me to comprehend, since young adults are supposed to be the most environment-friendly. But anyway, I gave up on trying to influence others within my building. Thus, whenever I produce some sort of waste, I take it directly to the recycling bins instead of the main bins in the communal area.

Also, I just like to add how my views on recycling changed throughout recent years.
Previously, I see recycling as a choice, as if it was an additional benefit that one would do just to feel better about themselves. However, through the dramatic changes in our environment, I view recycling (and living sustainability) as a mandatory action. I recycle not because of wanting to be viewed as morally right but to lessen the guilt I feel towards climate change-related topics. Eva added that waste is linked to us emotionally. As the feelings associated with recycling could either positively or negatively impact on our wellbeing. She also expressed the
importance of channeling the negative emotional (with recycling) into something
meaningful. It is important (according to Eva) to check-in yourself as the emotions could be taken out on our partners and/ or those around us. My opinion on this, I like how Eva exploring the deeper layers of environmental issues. Take the above for example, exploring the impact of recycling and mental health and how this affects us and those around us gives a wholesome picture of the recycling topic. Or, how culture shock could be the explanation as to why difference in attitudes of being environmentally friendly e.g. different recycling methods. Thus, when there are migrants in foreign countries and experience culture shock, locals may feel hostile and could lead to racism.

All in all, I really like how we’re discussing recycling and then explores how it relates to different aspect of our lives.