If you've ever seen a landfill, it shouldn't come as a surprise that humans make a huge amount of garbage. Sadly, the problem seems to only be getting worse:
- An increasing world population means more people than ever are producing garbage.
- Production costs are decreasing and overall wealth is increasing. This means that more people can buy things, which leads to more trash.
- The average American throws out 3.5kg of garbage every day
The more we recycle, the less ends up in landfills, incinerators, and worse places, like our oceans.
Because of this, recycling is among the best ways to make a positive impact on our world.
When an item is recycled, its natural resources (say, the aluminum in a drinking can) are used to their fullest potential.
In fact, here's just an idea of how much energy recycling can save:
- Office Paper: Recycling 1mt (Metric ton, 1,000kg) of office paper can save 19 trees, 1,950L of oil, 4,000kWh of energy, and 29,500L of water.
- Newspaper: Recycling 1mt of newspaper can save 300L of oil, 3300kWh of energy, and 29,500L of water.
- Plastic: Recycling 1mt of plastic can save 175L of oil and 6400kWh of energy.
- Glass: Recycling 1mt of glass can save 19L of oil and 47kWh of energy, and also saves 3.5kg of air pollutants from being released.
- Aluminum: Recycling 1mt of aluminum can save 7,050L of oil and 15,600kWh of energy--95% of the energy required to make pure aluminum from the raw resource.
- Steel: Recycling 1mt of steel can save 715kWh of energy and 320L of oil.