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Everyone knows that we should create less waste, and recycle the rest, but sometimes we lose our motivation. Here are some awesome facts that will keep you going!
1. Out of every €10 spent buying things, €1 (10%) goes for packaging that is thrown away. Packaging represents about 65% of household trash.
2. Over 60% of the trash that ends up in the dustbin could be recycled.
3. The unreleased energy contained in the average trashcan each year could power a television for 5,000 hours.
4. It has been estimated that recycling, reuse, and composting create six to ten times as many jobs as waste incineration and landfills.
5. Recycling a soda can save 96% of the energy used to make a can from ore and produces 95% less air pollution and 97% less water pollution.
6. When you recycle just one aluminum can, you save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 20 hours or run a TV for three hours, the equivalent of 1.8 liters of gasoline.
7. More aluminum goes into beverage cans than any other product.
8. There is no limit to the amount of times an aluminum can be recycled.
9. If you throw away your aluminum cans, they can stay in that can form for up to 500 years or more- so recycling is the way to go.
10. A 60-watt light bulb can be run for over a day on the amount of energy saved by recycling half a kilo of steel. In one year in the United States, the recycling of steel saves enough energy to heat and light 18,000,000 homes!
11. 20 million tons of electronic waste is thrown away each year. One ton of scrap from discarded computers contains more gold than can be produced from 17 tons of gold ore!
12. 900,000,000 trees per year are chopped down to make paper.
13. If you had a 15-year-old tree and made it into paper grocery bags, you'd get about 700 of them. A busy supermarket could use all of them in under an hour! This means in one year, one supermarket can go through over 6 million paper bags!
14. The average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most is packaging and junk mail.
15. The construction costs of a paper mill designed to use waste paper is 50 to 80% less than the cost of a mill using new pulp.
16. Recycled paper produces 73% less air pollution than if it was made from raw materials.
17. One ton of paper from recycled pulp saves 17 trees, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 26500 liters of water, 4200 kWh (enough to heat a home for half a year), 1500 liters of oil, and prevents 27 kg of air pollutants. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings! The 17 trees saved can absorb a total of 110 kg of carbon dioxide from the air each year. Burning that same ton of paper would create 680 kgs of carbon dioxide.
18. 25 Billion Styrofoam Cups are Trashed Each Year It takes Styrofoam more than 500 years to decompose in a landfill. A coffee mug can be washed and reused for years generating no waste.
19. Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every year!
20. Recycling one ton of plastic can save up to 13,000–28,000 liters of gasoline.
21. 1 recycled plastic bottle would save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 3 hours.
22. When plastics are recycled, they are usually "downcycled," that is, they are used to make a lower-quality form of plastic. Plastic water bottles, for example, cannot be recycled into new plastic bottles. Instead, the resins from plastic bottles are used to make fibers for pillows and insulating fill for winter jackets.
Common products that are made from recycled plastics include toys, car parts, imitation or plastic lumber, drainage pipes, clothing fibers, tables, park benches, parking lot bumpers, railroad ties, truck bed liners and garbage receptacles. And most of these cannot be recycled, making plastics a "dead-end" waste stream.
23. Because plastic water bottles are shielded from sunlight in landfills, they will not decompose for thousands of years.
24. The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a computer for 25 minutes, a 100-watt light bulb for four hours or a compact fluorescent bulb for 20 hours. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials.
25. A modern glass bottle would take 4000 years or more to decompose -- and even longer if it's in the landfill.
26. Mining and transporting raw materials for glass produces about 175 kg of waste for every ton of glass that is made. If recycled glass is substituted for half of the raw materials, the waste is cut by more than 80%.
27. 315 kg less carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere each time a metric ton of glass is used to create new glass products.
If all you need to start is a pretty and practical recycling bin, then take look at our selection! Many of them are made of reclaimed materials!
For tips and tricks about waste reduction read our former article!
Sources of the data:
A Recycling Revolution
Conserve Energy Future