We usually talk about the benefits for the environment brought about by us recycling waste, but how much are we talking about? Is recycling really good for the environment? Sometimes it’s important to know how much we mean exactly, to put it in “black on white,” with concrete cases and data.

Therefore, after reviewing each of the biowaste, glass, plastic and metal, and paper, and the diferent benefits (biowaste benefits, glass benefits, plastic and metal benefits, and paper benefits), to facilitate a comparison of each of their benefits for the environment, here’s the following table of benefits for each fraction that we recycle:

GLASS PAPER PLASTIC METAL ORGANIC

Energy consumption

– 20 to -30% -70% -84% -75 to 95%

Saving

Raw materials

1kg material x 1kg recycled 12 trees x 1 Tn 1kg oil x 1 kg 6 kg bauxite x 1 kg Al Compost to improve soil quality

Resources needed in the industry

34%

the needs

69%

the needs

9%

the needs

Water pollution -45% -35%(-80% consumption)

Air pollution

-20% -74%

Emission reduction

Global warming

-20% to 50% Saving

Saving by landfill

Landfill and incinerator reduction

Less waste to treat

I have to confess that while I was drawing up the table, I was surprised to see the total reduction in resources and especially the consumption of energy, which we save by recycling our garbage. So much so, that recycling is more a matter of saving energy and resources along with not polluting the planet.

Recycling our garbage saves energy, resources and helps to conserve our planet

5 Conclusions:

  • Recycling waste saves over 30% of energy in the production of new packaging or materials
  • Thanks to recycling, the consumption of raw materials is reduced (which are already scarce in Spain and Europe). The ratio is greater than 1 to 1. Recycling 1,000 kg of paper saves 12 trees from being felled
  • Recycling reduces water consumption and pollution. Only 2% of the water on earth is potable
  • Recycling contributes to reducing the emission of gases that cause global warming, which is real and exists
  • And, above all, if we recycle waste, not only will we obtain direct benefits but also indirect ones, that is, we will avoid the inconveniences caused by landfills and incinerators.

Want to know more?

 The book Stop garbage. The truth about recycling, Alex Pascual, February 2019

► ”Under The Dome” Documentary on China’s Pollution, by Chai Jing. Viral phenomenon with more than 150 million visits (CH sub ENG)

► Polluted air. El Escarabajo verde program RTVE (CAST)

http://www.rtve.es/television/20150429/soplo-aire-contaminado/1136279.shtml

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