Reduce, Reuse—Then Recycle
There is a reason recycling is last when we say: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Recycling involves a lot of heavy costs.
Used materials must be trucked to recycling centers, and is sometimes shipped overseas for recycling. Then it has to be reprocessed, using more energy and causing more emissions. Then it has to be transported again to the consumer.
The other problem is that many items that end up at recycling centers are not usable. They get contaminated by other garbage, mixed with other materials. Sorting it out is just not economically viable or technically possible. The fact is, recycling is not enough to solve our problems.
REDUCE the resources we use, REUSE the resources we have taken, THEN RECYCLE.