Global Recycling Day – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

By Jessica Hibberd
Posted on March 18th 2022

Every day, the Earth provides us with tons of natural resources to survive. Natural resources are materials or substances produced by the environment, that are used by humans for food, to clothe us, help heat our homes, enable us to travel far and wide, and even into Space. We also use natural resources to create man-made materials such as paper, glass, and concrete. The problem is, we Humans treat natural resources as if they are infinite, but they are running out.

*“infinite growth on a planet with finite resources is unsustainable” *

Global Recycling Day raises awareness of why we all must think again about what we throw away – seeing not waste but opportunity.

There is a lot of information out there on recycling, and it can quickly become confusing and overwhelming. It can also be difficult as an individual to comprehend how your everyday actions influence the bigger picture.

We’re here to remind you that they do, and here are a few random facts that we love from The Shorts Group:

Recycling one plastic bottle saves enough energy to turn on a 60-watt light bulb for three hours
Every Sunday, nearly 90% of newspapers are thrown away in Britain, which equates to throwing half a million trees into landfill
Recycling one aluminium can saves enough energy to run the TV for three hours
The small effort of ensuring items go in the right bin and slightly changing our consumer behaviour can make a big impact. It all adds up.

So, why should you recycle?

– Recycling can give us all some much-needed hope for the future. Studies show that 60% to 75% of garbage in landfills can be recycled. Imagine the difference if everyone played their part!

– It helps reduce global warming. Reducing the production of certain materials from scratch can reduce significant amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. Aluminium production uses 95% more CO2 than recycling old aluminium cans.

– It can improve the quality of our groundwater. Rain and other runoff from landfills seep into our streams, rivers, lakes, and other waterways.

– It makes us more energy-efficient. It usually takes much more energy to create something from scratch than to recycle it.

– It keeps our landfills from overflowing. We are rapidly running out of space for our rubbish to go. This contributes to waste in the ocean and many more areas, affecting biodiversity and the potential for ecosystem collapse.

– It creates jobs. The need to recycle is only going to grow more urgent as populations grow and as innovative technology changes.

– It reduces air pollution. Toxins created from processing raw materials enter the air we breathe.

The list of reasons why goes on. The list for reasons not to, in our minds, doesn’t exist.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – let’s do it

Practising all three of these activities every day is really important. Recycling is awesome, but you should always look to reduce your waste first, check to see if you can repurpose any items you would usually throw away, look to recycle what you can, and finally, throw away anything that cannot be done by the above.

For more information about reducing, reusing, and recycling, here are a couple of great resources for people of all ages

Managing Resources by BBC Bitesize

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle by Solar Schools