In certain forums, recycling is belittled as a fool’s errand and a meaningless gesture to the environment. Of course, the cabals who challenge the importance of recycling are also the same people, in general, who became fat from doing business with palpable disregard for the environment. Just what is recycling and how important is it to the planet and to all of us? Let’s consider some important recycling facts, after we are clear about the meaning of recycling.
“Recycling involves processing used materials into new products to prevent waste of potentially useful materials.”
Recycling is absolutely needed to help preserve our environment. Electronics recycling functions to decrease the emission of toxic fumes by moderating the pile of trash incinerated and by moderating petroleum being utilized to extract new materials. In fact, it lessens the need for raw materials as old ones are re-utilized for production.
Recycling facts about plastic
Plastic, a product of our modern profligate way of life, was hitherto praised as a revolutionary discovery – it even garnered an award in the World’s Fair in London in 1862. It’s long lasting, light, and transformable. Lamentably, over the years, it is this very strength of plastic that has surfaced to be an ecological fiasco for us. A hunk of plastic cast off today takes centuries to decompose, it will persist for at least 500 years before dissolution.
All plastics can be reused, it’s perplexing why most of us don’t recycle. An encouraging technology has been announced just a few weeks ago that could lend more motivation for us to recycle plastic waste. A company in Washington, D.C. called Envion, has recently announced the opening of its new recycling facility that could take in all types of plastic trash and turn these into fuel. Hopefully, this will perform as billed – it could prove to be the answer to the earth’s plastic waste debacle.
We use and discard 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour! Recycling just 26 of these bottles is enough to produce one polyester suit!
Lately, many news outlets and celebrities have been discussing the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It’s estimated to be double the size of Texas and contains as much as 100 million tons of plastic waste. Through a process known as photodegradation, the plastic in the patch is breaking down into shrapnel-like pieces and are ingested by fish and other sea organisms, which we eat – the plastic we heedlessly threw away has resurfaced by way of the food chain to afflict us all.
Recycling facts about paper
Due mainly to the Computer Age, old-style dailies are now using less paper to print their daily issues. As progressively more people go to the internet to read the news, old names like The Washington Post and The San Francisco Chronicle are now forced to publish online sites or risk becoming inconsequential.
To produce a weekend issue of every newspaper in America, 500 thousand trees were chopped down for their pulp to produce all that paper. In America, 85,000,000 tons of paper are used every year – that’s about 680 lbs. for every man, woman, and child in this country.
If we reuse just one out of ten of the newspapers we read and discard afterward, we’d prevent the cutting of 25 million trees annually. The best move, nix all subscriptions NOW or subscribe via RSS solely to the online edition of your favorite daily.
Recycling facts about metal
Are you aware of the YouTube film showing aluminum cans? It’s amazing how we waste this useful metal by not recycling. The number of aluminum material we discard annually is said to be enough to remake all the commercial aircraft in America three times over!
Every year, Americans require about 80 billion pieces of aluminum soda cans, and a large part of these are thrown away in our landfills.
Turning in a single aluminum soda container is equal to storing electricity that’s enough to run a 100-watt bulb for 20 hours, run your computer for 3 hours, or view the Jonas brothers on TV for three hours.
There are those who suggest that recycling at this time is both expensive and futile. These people propose that we deposit all waste material in landfills now and sit tight for technology to surface that would make it more systematic and economical to dig up landfills and clean up the oceans for all the piled up garbage, and recycle these into new products for us. I certainly look forward to that day, but in the meantime, we have to confront waste, short supply of materials, warming gases, and inadequate dump sites. It’s our world – no one else will take care of it, there’s just us. Let’s recycle today, and educate ourselves about recycling facts in our libraries and on the web.