We are regularly told that recycling is a great way of conserving the environment; whilst it also saves both energy and money. Despite being told this, it can sometimes be difficult to get our heads around just how effective recycling can be.
In 2003/04, UK households produced 30.5 million tonnes of waste, of which only 17% was recycled. Last year this figure had fallen to 22.6 million tonnes; with 43.2% sent to be recycled. This sounds like an impressive figure, though it is still difficult to comprehend.
So here are a few simple facts that show how recycling can be beneficial:
- One recycled tin saves enough energy to power your television for another THREE hours.
- 16% of the money you spend on a product pays for the packaging. If you pay £100 for something, you are effectively throwing £16 in the bin.
- Up to 80% of a vehicle could actually be recycled.
- 24 million tonnes of aluminium is produced annually.
- If every aluminium can produced was recycled we would need 14 million fewer dustbins.
- It takes just 6 weeks to recycle an aluminium can.
- Each year the average UK family uses 500 glass jars and bottles.
- Any glass sent to landfill will NEVER decompose.
- One recycled glass bottle could save enough energy to power your computer for another 25 minutes.
- 1 ton of newspaper is the equivalent of 24 trees.
- The average person in the UK gets through 38kg of newspapers every year.
- 73% less air pollution is produced recycling paper, compared to creating new.
- Roughly 15 million plastic bottles are used in the UK every year; that's about 275,000 tonnes of plastics!
- If every plastic bottle used in the UK was recycled you could save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 45 MILLION HOURS.
- Plastic can take up to FIVE HUNDRED years to decompose.
- There is a 4% increase in the amount of plastic used in Western Europe every year.