The History of Recycling Part 1


Recycling is not a brand new concept and, contrary to belief, the practice began a long time ago- thousands of years ago to be exact. Despite this, the process has been affected by the modern supply and demand, as we simply produce too much recycling to get it processed in time. At the same time, we also need to supply and demand ourselves. It is far easier to throw cardboard into the trash rather than place it in a recycle bin- however it’s not the most environmentally-friendly decision. Without further ado, let’s start the timeline of the history of recycling…

Historic Times: As we mentioned above, recycling dates back thousands of years ago- to as early as 400 BC. Evidence found by archaeologists indicates that glass from Byzantine times was recycled in an ancient city called Sagalassos, which was where Turkey is today. In addition to this, early Romans were also reported to have recycled their bronze coins into statues. During war times, metal from things such as jewellery and coins were also melted for weaponry.

Pre Industrial Times: Before the industrial revolution, recycling and re-using materials was a common process in many households. In fact, before the markets were flooded with material, it tended to be cheaper to re-use items. Plus, when certain materials such as glass or aluminium were no longer re-usable, they were recycled.

Industrial Times: Recycling is said to have taken a turn during industrialisation. As it became easier to produce products and goods, it was also much easier and less time-consuming to simply throw away cheap items. Due to this, there was a rather large economic slump and people had to make the most of what they owned by, you guessed it, recycling.

Make sure to check back for part two of this blog series where we go over how the war affected recycling and remember, looking after the earth is all of our responsibility!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *