If used materials are not recycled, new products are made
by extracting fresh, raw material from the Earth, through
mining and forestry. This aids in conserving important raw
materials and protects natural habitats for the future.
Using recycled materials in the manufacturing process uses
considerably less energy than that required for producing
new products from raw materials – even when comparing
all associated costs including transport etc.
Plus there are extra energy savings because more energy is
required to extract, refine, transport and process raw materials
ready for industry compared with providing industry-ready
Recycling reduces the need for extracting (mining, quarrying
and logging), refining and processing raw materials all of
which create substantial air and water pollution.
As recycling saves energy it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions,
which helps to tackle climate change. Current UK recycling
is estimated to save more than 18 million tonnes of C02 a
year – the equivalent to taking 5 million cars off the
When we recycle, recyclable materials are reprocessed into
new products, and as a result the amount of rubbish sent to
landfill sites reduces. There are over 1,500 landfill sites
in the UK, and in 2001, these sites produced a quarter of
the UK’s emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse
If you’re not already recycling, find out more
about how easy it is and how you can really make a difference.
For those who already recycle, discover the positive effect
your recycling efforts are making and find out what else you
may be able to do. Find out what recycling programs or centers
exist in your area. It's no use trying to recycle something
if no processing center exists.
- Determine what categories of items can be recycled in
your area, and then designate a separate location for each
category. For example, if a nearby center accepts aluminum
cans, plastic drink bottles, and newspapers, you will want
to have separate bins for each type of item, as well as
a waste bin for non-recyclable wastes.
- Leave your bins in an appropriate collection area, or
take your recycling to a processing center yourself once
you've accumulated enough to make it worth the trip.
- Some centers require you to wash items or remove labels
or lids. Find out what your center requires before making
- Try to avoid making special trips in your car to recycle,
as you will be using fuel unnecessarily. Combine it with
a trip you are making anyway.
- If you are in school, or in your workplace (where you
tend to use a lot of paper, then throw it away), try having
a recycling bin under your desk, or a recycling pocket in
your file. Make a mental note to put all un-needed paper
in there each time you feel like heading for the normal
- Don't just think of the normal items you can recycle,
do some research and expand it.
Some things you might be able to recycle easily are:
- Batteries (very important)- Car Batteries, Batteries
of any kind
- Beer and Wine bottles, jars, other glass items
- Paper and plastic bags (reuse first if possible)
- Magazines, Newspapers, phone-books.
- Plastic Bottles, Plastic Containers
- Cans and tins
- Juice/soup/milk cartons