people know that it is important to recycle, so each week they put
their used cans, glasses and paper products in the large green bins
for pick-up by recycle companies. What they donšt know is how
important it is to recycle. Recycling is a great example of how a
little goes a long way. Take a deeper look at the benefits of
recycling various products.
Of all the recyclable items, an aluminum can is the easiest to make
into a new one. Recycling aluminum and other metal food containers
including cans, clean frozen food trays, and pie plates, lets
manufacturers make new products with 95% less raw materials and 90%
less energy Compared to trashing it, recycling aluminum also cuts air
pollution by 95%.
Recycling glass reduces air pollution by 20%, and water pollution by
50%, compared with trashing it. Every time you recycle a glass bottle
that would have been trashed, you save enough energy to light a 100
watt bulb for four hours.
Recycling tin cans reduces related energy use by 74%, air pollution
by 85%, solid waste by 95%, and water pollution by 76% compared to
wasting them. That sounds great, doesn't it? But we only recycle 5%
of our tin cans! If your recycling center takes them, terrific. If
not, maybe they need a little convincing from you.
We use about 32 billion pounds of plastic a year--and recycle only
about 2% of it! But recycled plastic can be made into many new
products from detergent containers to park benches. And since much
plastic is made from petroleum, recycling saves money and conserves a
Recycling paper creates five times more jobs and it even saves money.
We can also re-use paper. If you have paper that's only used on one
side, the other side is still good. You can save it, and take it to a
local printing company who will bind it into a new pad or into several
smaller pads. You can also reuse envelopes, boxes, and packing
materials you receive in the mail.
Recycling by itself isn't enough. We need to complete the cycle by
using recycled products. Not enough people and companies use recycled
paper, for example. Sometimes paper just sits in huge warehouses,
waiting to be recycled. If it isn't used, it may even be dumped into
landfills or incinerators. We need to start using recycled paper in
our homes, schools and at work. The trick is to go for the highest
possible "post-consumer" recycled content. When you use post-consumer
recycled paper, you will actually be saving trees.