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“Environmental Benefits of Recycling”: A STAR Summary

This follow-up to a massive 2006 study examines 55 life cycle analysis reports revolving around waste management practices for everything from plastics to wood. Its conclusion is clear –recycling offers more environmental benefits and lower environmental impacts than other waste disposal methods. In most cases, this means that recycling lowers greenhouse gas emissions, reduces the need for energy and lessens water consumption, when compared to simply throwing trash into a landfill. Read the entire study for a more detailed breakdown of the environmental benefits of recycling vs. landfilling.


This report was published in March of 2010 by WRAP, a UK-based organization that helps people recycle more and waste less. 

The report begins… In 2006, WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) published a major research report, Environmental Benefits of Recycling, based on an international review of life cycle analyses (LCA) that evaluated the impact on the environment of recycling, landfilling or incineration of key materials in UK waste streams. The review assessed 55 ‘state of the art’ LCAs on paper and cardboard, glass, plastics, aluminium, steel, wood and aggregates. The conclusion was clear – most studies show that recycling offers more environmental benefits and lower environmental impacts than the other waste management options.

Continue reading by downloading the report below…