Recycling has become kind of a trend, with some people doing it because they genuinely want to conserve the environment, some doing it because the garbage disposal company recommends it, and still others just feel pushed into doing it. Regardless, taking part in recycle-and-reuse practices can make a huge difference on the environment, and it is something that everyone should get involved in.
Here are some interesting facts about recycling that you may not be aware of:
- Recycling is an endless loop that only works if the gathered materials are converted into useful products that can be purchased and used again. Acquiring items made from recycled materials is a great way to support these markets and keep the cycle going.
- The USA is the leading trash-producing nation in the globe with each person producing about 730 kilograms of trash per year. In other words, five per cent of the global population generates 40 per cent of the global waste.
- Every tonne of paper (1,000 kilograms) made from recycled materials helps save an estimated 26498 litres of water, 1438 litres of oil, 17 mature trees, 4,000 kilowatts of energy, and 2.3 cubic metres of landfill space.
- A 15-year-old tree can be used to produce 700 paper grocery bags. On the other hand, a busy supermarket can serve over 700 bags per house. So, carry your own bags when grocery shopping.
- Recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) from water bottles can be used to make new beverage and food bottles, clothing, deli trays, automobile parts, carpets, and lumber. Similarly, recycled HDPE (High-density polyethylene) from plastic milk jugs and shampoo bottles can be used to make new bottles for motor oil, laundry products, as well as for decking and plastic lumber and recycling bins and bags.
- Plastics take between 100 and 400 years to break down at the landfill. So, recycle your bottles.
- Using recycled material to produce new plastic uses only two-thirds of the energy needed to manufacture it from its raw materials.
- Using recycled metal in beverage cans made from aluminum uses 95 percent less and energy and generates 95 percent less greenhouse gases compared to manufacturing the cans from raw materials.
- Using recycled steel to make new cans uses between 60 and 74 percent of the energy needed to produce them from raw materials.
- Every can that you recycle can be made into a new can that finds its way back to the store in as little as 60 days.
- Recycling glass results in 50 per cent less water pollution compared to making a new glass bottle from raw materials.
- Glass jars and bottles can be recycled 100 per cent without losing any purity or quality.
So, what you can’t reuse, recycle; paper, plastic, metal, and glass need not end up in the landfill. It only takes a little energy to sort, clean, and convert them into new recycled products instead of starting with raw materials.