Learn the Facts Behind Recycling

Learn the Facts Behind Recycling

You've heard it over and over again: "recycling is good for the environment!" Do you know just how large of an impact recycling has on the world around you, or just how much waste would be generated if humans simply stopped recycling? These intriguing facts about recycling, and what happens when people don't recycle, will help you understand the true value of reducing waste.

  • In the year 2000, there were more than 55 billion aluminum cans in landfills. Thankfully, due to recycling efforts, aluminum cans now account for less than 1% of total waste in the United States. You can help get that number down to 0% by recycling your cans.
  • Though there are numerous outlets for recycling electronic waste, about 85% of e-waste still goes unrecycled. The next time you're wondering what you can do to reduce environmental impact, recycle your smartphones, laptops and other electronics -- and ensure your friends do the same.
  • One person generates about 4.5 pounds of trash per day. Though about 75% of this is recyclable, only about 30% is recycled, on average. How do you compare?
  • In the United States, only about 22% of glass containers are recycled each year. Making new glass requires far more energy and produces more waste that recycling used glass. This means one of the best ways to help the environment is to stop putting glass items in the trash -- and start recycling them.
  • The United States now recycles about 28% of its waste. This is far better than a decade ago, but the U.S. is still behind the recycling curve when compared to nations such as Switzerland and Denmark. Switzerland is a true inspiration in the green movement, providing separate recycling containers for various glass and paper items in every town.

If you're wondering what you can do to reduce environmental impact, start focusing on improving your recycling efforts. What could you be recycling that you've been putting in the trash? Also, consider switching to a biodegradable credit card, such as the eco-friendly rewards card from Sustain:Green.

Image Source: EPA

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