For the past two months, I have been investing some attention and effort in taking care of setting aside all my dry waste in my room's bin. I wish to separate the recyclable ones and the unrecyclable ones. Dispose the recyclable ones responsibly. I don't know what to do with unrecyclable ones, such as shiny cookie wrappers, I might do some handi-work to make a pillow or bag or some thing out of it. There is no proper collection mechanism or disposal mechanism in the small Indian town I live. I was originally inspired by the famous video "The Story of Stuff". Ironically, a depressing point mentioned in the video is the reason for this question. In the later half, it mentions the following :
First, the waste coming out of our houses is just the tip of the iceberg. For every one garbage can of waste that you put out on the curb, seventy garbage cans of waste were made upstream, just to make the junk in that one garbage can you put out on the curb. So even if we could recycle a hundred percent of the waste coming out of our households, it doesn't get to the core of the problems.
It set me thinking whether there would be any point at all in me taking so much care for segregation, reuse and recycling, since whatever household effort in dry waste disposal is miniscule compared to industrial waste.
So, as a principle, as a recycling philosophy and, more rationally, why should individuals bother to take the pains for household disposal in comparison to industrial waste disposal ?