Why would we throw a useful/ valuable material in a trash dump as waste?
Why is trash the norm and recycling the exception?
Recycling is Already a Major Global Economic Activity : via BIR
Approximately 1.6 million people worldwide are active in the recycling industry. Together, they handle more than 600 million tonnes of recyclables every year. With an annual turnover of more than $200 billion, similar to the GDP of countries such as Portugal, Colombia and Malaysia, the sector has already become a key driver for tomorrow’s sustainable development. About 10% of this amount is spent on new technologies, research and development that contribute to creating high-skilled jobs and making recycling more efficient and environmentally sound.
The recycling industry has become an integral part of modern society not only due to its social and economic impact but also because it plays a vital role for the future of our planet. The use of recycled materials directly translates into fewer natural resources being used and considerably less energy being consumed when compared to production processes using virgin materials.
1. The average American uses 650 pounds of paper each year – 100 million tons of wood could be saved each year if all that paper was recycled. Trees and forest secure and manufacture soils while also functioning as the home and ecosystem for millions of plants, animals, fungi and bacterial. We are made of what we eat and what we eat comes from the natural world, from our environment. Pollution causes sickness not only in the environment but also in people because we eat products from the natural world. Recycling paper leaves more tree's intact, helping to preserve forests. This in turn improves the health and well being of all living systems on earth.
2. A typical American family consumes 182 gallons of soda, 29 gallons of juice, 104 gallons of milk, and 26 gallons of bottled water a year. That's a lot of containers that can all be recycled!
3. About 80% of what Americans throw away is recyclable, yet our recycling rate is only 28%. There is a lot of room for improvement here.
4. Every month Americans throw out enough glass bottles and jars to fill up a giant skyscraper (think: Empire State Building), but all of these jars are recyclable!
5. Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures a year! Ever heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? It's twice the size of Texas and is floating somewhere between San Francisco and Hawaii. It's also 80 percent plastic, and weighs in at 3.5 million tons.
6. Recycling one ton (about 2,000 pounds) of paper saves 17 trees, two barrels of oil (enough to run the average car for 1,260 miles), 4,100 kilowatts of energy (enough power for the average home for six months), 3.2 cubic yards of landfill space, and 60 pounds of pollution.
7. The 17 trees saved by recycling one ton of paper can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the air each year.
8. If all of our newspapers were recycled, we could save about 250 million trees each year! If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we could save about 25 million trees each year.
9. More than 20 million Hershey's Kisses are wrapped each day, using 133 square miles of aluminum foil. Believe it not, ALL that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it so most it goes in the trash!
10. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours. In spite of this, Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild our entire commercial fleet of airplanes every three months!
The facts above should be enough to push law makers into adopting Universal Recycling in the USA. These facts alone should motivate people to be more considerate and thoughtful about what they do with their waste output (most of which is recyclable or compostable).
Each decision we make as consumers has a tremendous impact on the world. Recycling is good for our economy because it recovers valuable materials that would have otherwise become trash trucked away to some smelly site. Recycling is not difficult: it just takes a little thought and action. Recycling is good the for environment and as such it is therefor also good for human health and well being.
Want to Know What to Recycle?
Download a handy recycling guide from waste management by clicking the following link :