Reusable vs. Recyclable


My problem revolves around if there are benefits to using biodegradable containers. Using reusable resources rather than recyclable materials has always been heavily encouraged, but could the pros of disposable items outweigh the cons? For example, while there are many pros to reusable water bottles, could the side effects be worse for the environment? How much water is used to wash them? And does it take more material to create a sturdy bottle? As for recyclable materials, would it be considered more beneficial for the environment if biodegradable materials were applied instead of reusable bottles? And how many jobs would be lost and businesses would be bankrupted if this industry were to degrade? This project will study the positive effects (environmentally and economically) of using recyclable material, and if the positive will outweigh the negative. To make the outcome more clear and understandable, money used will be a common unit between all the factors. This issue is important because it would clear the confusion between what is best.


As consumers, we need to know which choice is better. If we know which is better economically and environmentally, we can use the correct material and better our world. The importance goes back to the questions on water usage, jobs, and industrial benefits.

Economical Factors:

Reusable Company
Low Medium High
Low  ? ? ?
Recyclable Company Medium  ? ? ?
High  ? ? ?

By viewing this matrix of the distribution of possible costs the two generic company’s represent, it shows the possibilities you can see in both industries. For the consumer, it is obvious that the goal would be for both company’s to have the lowest prices possible in order to save money.

Reusable Company
Low Medium High
Low (1,1) (1,2) (1,3)
Recyclable Company Medium (2,1) (2,2) (2,3)
High (3,1) (3,2) (3,3)

If we were to assign simple numbers to the matrix, the Pareto Optimal solution/best solution would be for both players to make their costs as low as possible.


Many recyclable plastic companies reuse plastic which reduces waste and lowers their cost. Some companies more than others have also promoted the minimal amount of plastic they use. For example, they use less plastic by creating a thinner wall for their bottles, or making the cap as flat as possible to reduce the amount of plastic per cap. As for reusable water bottles, some companies have begun utilizing other materials. For example, if they were to use man made materials or metals, the use of plastic would decrease.


What kind of water bottle do you usually use?


Recyclable or Reusable?


Poll Maker

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