Garbage & Recycling
Plastic Facts & Trivia
Did you know:
- In 2006, Americans drank about 167 bottles of water each, but only recycled an average of 38 bottles per person. That means about 50 billion plastic bottles were consumed, but only 23 percent were recycled, leaving 38 billion water bottles to be thrown away.
- According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, the average American consumed 1.6 gallons of bottled water in 1976. In 2006, each person consumed 28.3 gallons of bottled water.
- In 2006, Americans spent $15 billion on bottled water. That’s more than we spent on iPods or movie tickets.
- Bottled water costs between $1 and $4 per gallon, and 90% of the cost is in the bottle, lid, and label.
- Manufacturing bottled water uses over 1.5 million barrels of oil per year; that’s enough oil to fuel 100,000 cars.
- 5 plastic bottles to make a polyester T-shirt
- 5 plastic bottles to make fiberfill for a ski jacket
- 35 plastic bottles to make fiberfill for a sleeping bag
- 36 plastic bottles to make one square yard of polyester carpet
So the next time you intend to throw away a plastic bottle, look for a recycling bin instead.
All About Aluminum
- Over 50% of the aluminum cans produced are recycled.
- A used aluminum can can be recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can in as fast as 60 days.
- Aluminum is a durable and sustainable metal, so much so that two thirds of the aluminum ever produced is still in use today.
- Making new aluminum cans from used cans takes 95 percent less energy than producing one can using virgin ore.
- Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb burning for almost four hours, or enough to run your television for three hours.
The Deal on Steel
- Americans use 100 million steel cans every day.
- Each year North America recycles more steel than aluminum, glass, paper, and plastic combined.
- The steel industry has been recycling for over 150 years.
- Recycling steel saves 75% of the energy that would be used to create steel from raw materials, or enough to power 18 million homes.
- A ton of recycled steel saves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal, and 120 pounds of limestone.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Tips to Make a Difference
There are little things each of us can do to help preserve and protect the environment. Here are some ideas on how you can make a difference every day:
- Reduce paper waste by using both sides of the paper and using scrap paper whenever possible.
- Reduce lunch waste by buying snacks in large bags and putting them into small, reusable containers. The small bags cost up to 30 percent more and create 10 times as much garbage.
- Use a reusable lunch box instead of disposable paper bags.
- Whenever possible, purchase products with minimal packaging.
- Reuse canvas, paper, or plastic bags to bring home purchases.
- Share magazines, books, movies, and CDs with friends and family instead of buying new.
- Buy recycled products, the greater the demand the more products will be made with recycled materials.
Wanting to know more about the life cycle of trash and learning about landfills will not only help you be more environmentally educated but will also help keep our world clean and green.