Recycling is an important part of living sustainably and reducing our environmental impact. By repurposing and reusing materials, recycling helps reduce our reliance on natural resources and conserve valuable materials. Here are the top 10 facts about recycling that you should know.
1. Recycling is the process of taking material such as glass, plastic, metal or paper, and processing it so that it can be used all over again!
The more we recycle the less new materials need to be created, chopped down or mined. This is better for the environment.
2. Less than half of plastic in the U.K is recycled
Every year the U.K throws away over 7 billion plastic bottles as well as other plastic rubbish from food packaging, toys and much more.
Despite how much plastic we use we only recycle 45% of plastic that we throw away in the U.K.
Find out more about Plastic in our Top 10 Facts about Plastic.
3. In the UK we throw away enough cans each year they could reach the moon three times
13 billion cans are thrown out every year. If we stacked them on top of each other you could make 3 piles of cans that would reach to the moon!
Cans are a great thing to recycle so make sure when you’ve finished with your baked beans you put the can in the recycling.
4. The energy saved from recycling 1 glass bottle is enough a power a light bulb for four hours
Recycling can save lots of energy. It takes lots of energy to make glass but by recycling glass that’s already made we can save lots of energy – in fact it’s enough energy to power a light bulb for 4 hours.
Recycling just one plastic bottle saves enough energy to power a lightbulb for six hours.
5. 14 million glass bottles and jars are sent to landfill every day.
Despite how much energy and raw (new) materials recycling glass can save we still send 14 million glass bottles and jars to landfill every day in the U.K.
6. Every tonne of paper recycled saves 17 trees
Using recycled paper saves trees from being cut down so always check to see if your paper is recycled.
Another good way to save paper and trees is to make sure you use the front AND back of paper.
7. We throw more rubbish into landfill than we recycle
The U.K creates 26 million tonnes of rubbish every year.
12 million tonnes is recycled, and 14 million tonnes is sent to landfill sites.
8. Making one can from raw (new) materials uses the same amount of energy that it takes to recycle 20 cans.
This means recycling cans is really important. Aluminium cans are one of the most recycled waste items in the world – over 50% of cans in the world are recycled.
9. In less than 2 hours the UK produces enough waste to fill the Albert Hall in London
Recycling is one way to help tackle how much rubbish we make but we should also think about wasting less.
Using a reusable water bottle and eating all our food and not throwing it away are just some of the ways we can make sure we create less rubbish. Find out more about reducing your waste and carbon footprint here.
10. Up to 60% of the rubbish that ends up in the bin could be recycled
Not everything can be recycled but unfortunately more than half of the things we put in the bin to go to landfill could have been recycled.
Make sure you are checking if your rubbish can be recycled before putting it in the non-recycling bin.
If you would like to find a recycling point near where you live, check out www.recycleyourelectricals.org.uk.
Send us your favourite facts!
Is there something we've missed? Got a fact you're dying to tell us? Submit it below and we could use it on a future Top 10 Facts page!
Remember to always ask an adult before filling out forms online.