Today is Global Recycling Day and we’re looking at some of the reasons as to why recycling is so important. 

Energy Reduction – in most cases, recycling products to reuse their materials is far less energy-intensive than making from raw materials.  Take your simple soup can, made from aluminium. Recycling that can can reduce energy consumption by up to 95% compared to making it from metal ore.  Recycling other metals such as steel sees an energy reduction of around 70%.  But, it’s not just metals.  Making paper from pulped recycled paper uses around 40% less energy than from virgin wood fibres.

Protecting Ecosystems – Let’s look at that soup can again. Mining for that metal ore not only requires huge land clearances, destroying habitats but scars the land and contaminates freshwater supplies.  You may say, we can always plant more trees, and not think twice about recycling that paper bag, cardboard box, or pallet. However, Britain’s Rainforests are some of the most diverse and rare habitats in the UK, providing perfect conditions for rare plants, birds, and mammals.  Through clearances and conversion to other uses, Britain’s Rainforests are fast dwindling and cannot be easily or quickly replaced. 

Social Value – in many cases, the extraction of natural resources occurs in the most vulnerable of communities.  The search for cheap wood or valuable minerals often sees communities evicted from their homes.  Recycling your waste is a small step in reducing the demand and vulnerability of these communities.  Recycling also supports many charities in your area.  Charities such as Community Wood Recycling sees recycling as a way to provide opportunities and support to disadvantaged people.

Not to mention the fact that recycling your waste is around 6 times cheaper than sending it through general waste.

According to a recent article by the UN, global demand on natural resources is set to rise by 60% between 2020 and 2060.  This huge increase in demand for natural resources strengthens our need to improve our recycling rates at home and in the workplace!