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Facts and Figures
- The manufacture of recycled paper requires 7,000 less gallons of water per ton compared to non-recycled paper.
- Recycling a four-foot stack of newspapers saves the equivalent of one 40-foot fir tree.
- The United States throws away enough office and writing paper annually to build a 12 foot wall across the country
- Americans throw away more than 600 pounds of paper products per person per year.
- Paper is recycled into new products such as tar paper, asphalt shingles, cereal boxes, and of course, new paper.
- Energy saved: Each ton of recycled paper produced requires 4,102 kwh less energy than virgin paper
Recycling one ton of paper saves:
- 17 mature trees
- 3.3 cubic yards (2.5 cubic meters) of landfill space
- 7000 gallons (27,000 liters) of water
- 380 gallons (1440 liters) of oil
- 4100 kilowatt hours (14,700 megajoules) of energy
- 60 pounds (27 kilograms) of pollutants
- Every glass bottle recycled saves enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for 4 hours.
- Melting used glass saves 35 percent of the energy required to make glass from raw materials.
- Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour!
- The average American car contains 300 pounds of plastic made from about 60 different resins.
- Every year, we make enough plastic film to shrink-wrap the state of Texas. 10% of the average grocery bill pays for product packaging (mostly paper and plastics). That's more than what goes to farmers.
- Products made from recovered plastic bottles include drainage pipes, toys, carpet, filler for pillows and sleeping bags and cassette casings.
- PET bottles (soda, water) and HDPE bottles (milk, laundry detergent) are by far the most commonly collected plastic materials in community recycling programs.
- 10% of all households have the ability to recycle all types of plastic bottles in their community.
- 63% of U.S. communities have access to a recycling program that collects plastic.
- Every ton of steel recycled saves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal, and 120 pounds of limestone
- Steel is one of the world's most recycled products. In fact, steel is 100% recyclable, which means its lifecycle is potentially continuous
- Making steel from recycled cans uses 75% less energy than when producing steel from raw materials.
- Making cans from recycled aluminum saves 95% of the energy required to produce cans from virgin material.
- Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a television, or operate a computer for three hours.
- 99% of all beer cans and 97% of all soft drink cans are made of aluminum.
- The average aluminum can in the U.S. contains 40% post-consumer recycled aluminum.
- It requires only 5% of the energy needed to make a can of recycled aluminum as compared to virgin ore.
- Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild the entire U.S. commercial air fleet every 3 months.
- In 1994, 3.1 million tons of aluminum waste was generated. 2.1 million tons came from soft drink and beer cans.
- Aluminum made up 1.5% of the total municipal solid waste stream generated in the U.S. in 1994.
- Approximately 65.5% of aluminum containers are recycled in the U.S.
- Most aluminum recovered from the waste stream is used to manufacture new cans.
- The lifespan of an aluminum can is about six weeks. That means it takes only six weeks for a beverage can to be manufactured, filled, sold, used, recycled and remanufactured.
- Recycling aluminum cans saves 95 percent of the energy required to produce aluminum from ore.