- It is estimated that Americans use approximately two million plastic bottles every hour. Majority of these are discarded and not recycled.
- It takes close to a thousand years for them to get decomposed.
- Recycled plastic cannot be used to make bottles again. Instead, it is remade into other items, such as clothing, carpeting, toys, etc.
- According to estimates, around one million barrels of oil are spent in supplying bottled water in one year.
- Processing one bottle helps in conserving energy equivalent to lighting a 60-watt bulb for about six hours.
- Four-fifth of households in America access plastics recycling program.
How To Recycle?
The Environmental Protection Agency has a target to recycle one-fourth of all wastes generated in America. Plastic bottles can be recycled through the curbside recycling, through grocery store drop bins and through drop-off centers.
By reading the number at the base of the bottles, it can be known whether the bottle can be recycled or not. Once the type is determined, (it ranges from type 1 to type 7), calling the department of public works or a nearby recycling center will help in determining whether a particular type can be recycled, and if yes, where it can be recycled.
Saves Energy: To truly understand the benefits for the environment, one has to look at the statistics. Processing a pound of polyethylene terephthalate i.e. PET bottles, helps in saving heat energy, to the extent of about 12000 British Thermal Units, i.e. BTU. It does not end here.
When it's is used for producing new products, much lesser energy, almost 66% lesser, is required when compared to energy used to manufacture fresh, new plastic. Another advantage is that the greenhouse gas emissions through this method get reduced too.
Saves Landfill Space: Today, America is already facing a high risk of running out of landfill space. Recycling can help in countering this risk as one ton of recycled products help in saving 7.4 cubic yards of the landfill space.
Makes Money: Recycling for money generation has become a possibility in America now, with demand for recycled bottles exceeding supply considerably. So, another advantage is that it generates revenue and employment.
Product Manufacture: Recycled plastic is very useful in the sense that by using it, a host of everyday products such as carpeting and fleece jackets are manufactured.
So, from today onwards, let us all join the mission to save our environment, by disposing off plastic appropriately.