Recycling facts: reduce, reuse, recycle
Reduce, reuse, recycle – or the 3 Rs of recycling – is a phrase you may be familiar with; these are three significant ways in which we can minimise our impact on the environment from the materials used in every day life. Year on year – as a country – we are recycling more and more, yet the impact we all have on the environment is still significant.
We’ve put together some recycling facts on just a few different areas; do you recycle everything you could?
Food waste and food recycling facts
As a country, £13 billion worth of food is thrown away every year, with the average person creating 75kg of food waste. UK households throw away edible food to the value of £470 annually.
That’s a lot of food in the bin every single day:
slices of bread
Plastic recycling facts
275,000 tons of plastic are used each year in the UK; that’s around 15 million single use bottles every day.
Plastic can take 500 years to decompose, so it’s important to think about how much we use, and what happens to it:
The average UK household uses 480 plastic bottles, with only around half of those being recycled
Microplastics and other plastic items that end up in the ocean kill 1 million sea creatures every year
Each year enough plastic is thrown away to circle the earth four times; thats around 100,000 miles!
Glass recycling facts
The first bottle bank was introduced in 1977 in Barnsley, South Yorkshire; there are now over 50,000 across the country. Glass is 100% recyclable and can be reused countless times. It does not decompose, so will stay in the environment forever.
Check out these amazing glass facts!
Recycled glass in the UK saves enough energy to launch 10 space shuttles
Milk bottles are used around 13 times before being recycled
The average household uses 500 glass bottles and jars every year
Paper recycling facts
Paper and card account for 20% of all waste produced in the UK. The average household throws away 6 trees worth of paper every year; if every person in the UK recycled just 10% more paper it would save 5 million trees a year!
Take a look around where you are right now, how much paper can you see?
It takes one tree to produce 230 newspapers
Every Christmas, 11,000 football pitches worth of wrapping paper is thrown away
70% less energy is needed to recycle paper compared to using raw materials
Aluminium and tin can recycling facts
Aluminium cans are 100% recyclable, and can be back on the shelf as a new can in 2 months. Steel cans are also 100% recyclable, they can be used to make more cans, or many other everyday products.
Aluminium cans are worth up to 20 times more than any other packaging material; there can be around £30 million worth of cans waiting to be collected and recycled at any time.
We use 5 billion aluminium cans per year; 600 per household
20 drinks cans can be recycled for the energy it takes to make 1 new can
1 recycled tin can saves enough energy to power a TV for 3 hours
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