We all know the phrase - reduce, reuse, and recycle. Protecting our environment for future generations is a responsibility of all of us. Global warming which is the gradual rise of the earth and oceans temperature leading to climate change are all man made problems brought about by human invention.
The worst offenders are the first world countries while the most affected reside in the third world. It is estimated that an average person produces at least 4 pounds of waste daily. Erratic weather, lack of rain and depleted resources are just some of the negative effects we are causing to our planet.
Recycling is usually done in three separate categories, paper, plastic and tin or cans. Let’s take a look at the waste recycling facts revolving around these three categories.
In order to make 700 grocery bags, a 15 year old tree has to be cut down. An estimated 900,000,000 trees are cut down every year to provide raw materials. Most people will use this bag once then throw it in the trash.
Babies are also a big factor to consider when talking waste paper. It is estimated that a baby will go through at least 8000 Diapers. These will sit in a landfill for more than 500 years.
Corrugated cardboard is the most recycled product in the world with an estimated 73% recovery rate.
The number of recycling plants has recently tripled. Up from less than 1% to an estimated 12% currently, municipal solid waste plastic generation is on a steady rise. Of the more than 50 million tons of plastic generated yearly only 6.8% or 2.1 million tons are recycled. PET soda bottles accounts for 37% of this while water and milk bottles take up 28%.
The energy saved from recycling aluminum in 1998 was estimated to be enough to light up a medium sized city for 10 years. A landfill, which is where most cans end up, occupy 6.3 million cubic yards in the United States. Aluminum cans do not degrade and will still be in the land fill 4000 years after they are discarded. An estimate of $600 million is given for the number of land filled aluminum cans scrap value. At the rate we are depleting our resources; we may some day end up digging up our landfills for resources.
While it does not fit in any of the above categories, about 270 million car tires are discarded each year. Each tire contains around 7 gallons of oil. As little as a quart of oil can contaminated 2 million gallons of water. Oil spills in the ocean have destroyed eco systems that will take years to recover not to mention the death of countless sea creatures and birds that live in these habitats.
The most recycled item with a 98% rate is car batteries. These can easily be taken back to the dealer to be recycled. The same can be done for your electronic gadgets.
Actively participate in conserving your environment by recycling, and ensure a better world for you and generations to come. If not, we are heading towards a disaster.