We often hear the word “recycling” thrown around, but do we really understand its meaning? Recycling is the process of collecting rubbish and repurposing it into something new, creating a new purpose for an old item, or a raw material to be used in manufacturing.
Some items regularly manufactured using recycled materials include toothbrushes, clothing and even caskets and coffins! There are many incentives from governments around the world including Australia that promote the use of these recycled materials.
10 Facts regarding waste and recycling in Australia
- Here in Australia we are one of the highest generators of waste in the world!!
There are no higher producers of waste in the world than Australians; on average we produce approximately 400 kg of waste per family every year!!
- Waste that doesn’t make it to the recycle bin ends up in landfill:
Oxygen or not, waste will degrade. This process generates methane gas, these gasses contribute significantly to global warming – 25% more than carbon dioxide…
- A glass bottle takes one million years to decompose:
If you don’t recycle your glass bottle but dump it instead, it can take up to 4000 to one million years before it completely breaks down, make sure you recycle glass responsibly!!
- Recycling Aluminium makes a big difference!!
Repurposing aluminium has massive environmental benefits, you can save huge amounts of energy; enough to power a television for multiple hours!
- Paper recycling is always the best option:
By recycling paper and keeping it from landfill will prevent the decomposition process, preventing the production of greenhouse gasses
- Plastic bags are a major contributor:
approximately 4 billion plastic bags are used in Australia every year. 9 plastic bags can produce about the same amount of petroleum to run a car for 1 km! That’s 450 million kilometres of plastic bags annually!!
- We recycle the most amounts of newspapers in the world!
Recycling newspapers reduces landfill, one ton is almost three cubic meters of space
- Australians use about 376,000 tonnes of plastic packaging every year
Plastic packaging can take up to 500 years to disintegrate, recycling bottles can conserve enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes
- Plastic kills the oceans…
about one million sea creatures die from waste in the ocean every year the fishing industry contributes 150,000 tonnes of plastic to the oceans every year, this plastic is deadly to the creatures living in our oceans
- Our electronic waste is substantial…
One of the most common items in landfills are batteries, approximately 350 batteries are purchased in Australia every year, about 65% of these are dumped in landfill. Make sure to drop your batteries at a proper disposal point to ensure that all the materials can be recycled and disposed of correctly; Battery World is a great option.
Make sure your home and office recycling systems are as efficient as possible be sure to use all the infrastructure available to you to ensure that we make the most of our planets resources and reduce waste and production of harmful pollutants.