History of Recycling

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. This catchy phrase and environment conserving practice may seem like a fairly modern invention from human society, but it’s a bit older then you might think! The concept of recycling stemmed from the industrial revolution. While large companies did not have any sort of complex organized system to reuse already produced materials, smaller households certainly utilized their items multiple times before tossing them away. The industrial age also ushered mass consumption and production, which is the main reason we are so conscious about recycling today.

In the 30’s and 40’s conservation and recycling was very important due to The Depression. With so many Americans losing a majority of their wealth, they could not buy all new items whenever they pleased. Reusing was a necessity. When World War II came along, items like nylon, rubber, and all kinds of metals became rationed and used wisely towards the war effort. When the boom of the 50’s and 60’s took place, this practice of conservation was mostly forgotten. It’s in struggles of economic times that society seems to remember the handiness and benefits of the Three R’s. In the 1970’s Earth Day was created, for a holiday to preserve the planet, the idea of recycling was back in the minds of several Americans. It only grew in popularity as the years went by. Recycling seems like a no brainer in todays decades, and this is due to wide public acceptance and even law mandates by states and governments. It is different everywhere, but wether your community does or does not require recycling habits, it’s a practice that benefits the whole planet.