Who needs jokes when you’ve got these facts ready for Christmas?
With Christmas around the corner, it’s that time of the year when the crackers get pulled and the bad dad jokes start. So, this year, we thought we’d give you an alternative; we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite recycling facts for you to wow your co-workers with on the run up to Christmas, and your families on the big day (hopefully they’ll make everyone more eager to recycle in the process too!). Take a look below and start memorising…
In the UK, we use 12.5 million tonnes of paper every year, the equivalent of a forest the size of Wales. That’s a lot of paper and a lot of trees.
The good news? When clean and uncontaminated, this paper can be recycled up to 7 times – and doing so uses 70% less energy than making new (virgin) paper. This means that, by recycling just one tonne of paper, you can help save 17 trees and 4000kW of energy (enough to power a house for a whole year!).
The UK produces over 9 billion drinks cans every year, 80% of which are made from aluminium. If these cans end up in landfill after use, they can take up to 500 years to decompose.
The good news? When recycled, aluminium cans can be back on sale in just 8 weeks! Even more impressive, these same cans can be recycled over and over again, infinite times – which is why 75% of the aluminium ever made is still in use today.
In the UK, we use 7.7 billion plastic bottles every year, with the average person buying more than 3 a week. Many of these aren’t disposed of correctly, meaning over 150 plastic bottles now litter each mile of our country’s beaches and contribute to the 5 trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans.
The good news? By recycling plastic bottles, we divert them away from our oceans and reduce the need to use new (virgin) plastics. In fact, by creating plastic products out of recycled bottles, we use 75% less energy than making them from scratch!
Electrical goods are the fastest growing waste stream in the UK, increasing by 5% annually. And, as a country, we’re now throwing away 2 million tonnes of these items every year – the equivalent of 158,103 double decker buses!
The good news? Electrical items are full of useful and often highly valuable materials that, if recycled, can be reused. For example, it is estimated that, when recycled, a million mobile phones would yield 33 pounds of palladium, 75 pounds of gold, 772 pounds of silver and 35,274 pounds of copper!
In the UK, each individual family uses an average of 500 glass bottles and jars every year. If these end up in landfill after use, they can take over a million years to decompose.
The good news? Glass is highly recyclable and can be recycled infinite times with zero loss of quality. Recycling glass also takes less energy than making glass from scratch – so much so that the glass recycling level in the UK saves enough energy to launch 10 space shuttle missions!