Global warming can no longer be ignored. With the likes of David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg leading the charge, the devastating impact of plastic waste on the environment and wildlife has become a global concern. Climate emergencies have been declared, and the UK government is striving to recycle 65% of municipal waste by 2035.
Supermarkets and industries up and down the country are rethinking everything from the way produce is packaged to distribution. Recycling has never been more critical. It reduces air and ground pollution, as well as minimizing the levels of greenhouse gases released.
But recycling is so much more than this alone. Want to know why? Here’s why recycling matters:
Nothing lasts forever
The world’s natural resources are finite. So everything from coal to ancient woodlands has a limit, and as time goes on, the supply is running out.
Recycling re-uses those essential resources:
- Plastic: making new plastic requires a lot of energy and is usually made from fossil fuel hydrocarbons
- Paper and wood: the surefire way to save our forests and woodlands is to make sure you recycle paper and wood. Arguably you can plant new trees, but at the cost of losing life-giving virgin rainforests and valuable ancient woodlands
- Metals: Mining and extracting metal ores from the earth is a risky, expensive and damaging venture
- Glass: Did you know that glass is predominantly made from sand? Startingly, raw types of natural sand are depleting around the world
So to protect our planet’s future and to make sure that your children and theirs can experience nature as it should be, it may be time to up the ante with your recycling.
70% of the Earth is made up of oceans and seas. But alarmingly, 40% of the world’s ocean surfaces contain billions of pounds of plastic, and if the current rate continues, plastic is expected to outweigh all the fish in the sea by 2050.
The biggest culprit is single-use plastic. So everything from sea turtles to sea birds, seals and other marine animals are seeing a significant impact on their numbers after ingesting or getting caught up in the plastics swirling throughout the sea.
One of the most straightforward solutions is to make sure you safely recycle every piece of plastic passing through your door. This will, in turn, reduce the need to grow, harvest or extract new raw materials from the Earth and reduce the disruption and damage done to the natural world:
- Fewer forests cut down
- Less pollution of air, water and soil
- Fewer wild animals harmed or displaced
- Fewer rivers diverted
Keeping waterways and coastlines free from plastic waste is not only life-saving, but it protects the future of our planet.
Recycling saves energy
Guess what? Making new products from recycled materials requires less energy than making them from new raw materials. The differences are so huge, that your reasons for recycling are a no-brainer!
- Paper made from pulped recycled paper = 40% less energy than making it from raw virgin wood fibres
- Recycling one glass bottle = enough power to light a 100 watt light bulb for four hours, or its LED equivalent for much longer
- Using recycled tins and foil to make new aluminium = 95% less energy than making it from scratch
But its not just saving energy from the production process that’s worth noting. Using recycled materials in the manufacturing process saves energy from extraction, refining, transport and then the ultimate processing of raw materials.
We live in a consumer-driven society, and with it comes a desire for new stuff. New tech, new clothes, new car. But have you ever stopped to think where your goods come from? They don’t simply appear in the shop after all.
The cost of new materials and resources is for some of the world’s most vulnerable communities to be displaced from their homes or suffer exploitation, particularly those living around forests rivers.
The hunt for cheap timber, metal ores and coal has led to the destruction of some people’s way of life and the surrounding wildlife. In short, the case for recycling is not only a means to protect the world’s vulnerable, but a way of life too.
Lower carbon emissions
We’ve all seen or heard the UK government’s latest country-wide initiative: the Green Industrial Revolution. In the PM’s ten point plan, the aim is to bring the country’s emissions down to zero by 2035. Some of the highlights include:
- New sales of petrol and diesel vehicles ban to promote zero emission vehicles
- Protecting our natural environment
- Develop and grow low carbon hydrogen
- Develop new and advances nuclear power
And a massive influence on “green.” Greener buildings, green finance, green public transport.
Recycling in itself uses less energy. Sourcing and processing new raw materials produce lower carbon emissions and reduce the amount of methane-releasing waste in landfill sites.
Ultimately, all of these things reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere, minimizing the risks of dangerous and potentially disastrous climate change.
Disposing of general refuse is a costly affair, and with local councils up and down the country feeling the tightness of the purse strings, there’s little wonder why recycling is so encouraged. Essentially, the less you put in your bin, the more money is saved across the board.
But what do you do when the items you have are too big to leave for your local bin men? Well, you either make your way down to your local recycling center or you hire in a reputable rubbish removals company to do all the hard work for you. The pros will know how to dispose and recycle all of your unwanted items properly, with minimum fuss and maximum efficiency.
Recycling couldn’t be more important. It is a lifesaver for many vulnerable communities, it saves valuable energy and protects wildlife. But more than that, it is a way to ensure that the future isn’t left at the mercy of devastating climate change.