- Across the UK, recycling rates increased from 17% to 34% over the last five years.
- Between 2003 – 2008, the 33.8 million tonnes of household waste sent for recycling would fill the Royal Albert Hall over 1,000 times.
- The 30 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent saved is equivalent to taking 9.4 million cars – or one-third of all cars on the road in Britain – off the road for one year. Last year our household recycling alone saved 6.5 million tonnes of CO2 which is the same as avoiding over 1 million return flights from London to Sydney.
- In total, for the period 2003/04 – 2007/08, the quantity of cans, glass, paper, plastic and textiles recycled was equivalent to the following:
- 10.1 billion aluminium cans – that’s the comparable to saving 1.6 million tonnes of raw materials and, if laid end-to-end, the cans would stretch to the moon three times.
- 24.2 billion steel food cans – that’s 21 times the amount of steel used in the construction of Wembley stadium.
- 9.5 billion 75cl glass wine bottles – that’s equal to saving 5.4 million tonnes of raw materials including silica sand, limestone and dolomite, soda ash and other minerals.
- 26.1 billion newspapers – that’s equivalent to supplying all men and women in the UK over the age of 15 with one newspaper per day for over two years.
- 13.5 billion 500ml plastic bottles – like the world’s population recycling two plastic bottles each over the five year period.
- 2.8 billion square metres of cotton fabric – which if laid out flat would amount to enough material to cover an area the size of London two time.
- The recycling industry has an annual turnover of approximately £17 billion and contributes around £5.5 billion to the UK economy, while directly and indirectly supporting around 100,000 jobs.
Artcicle by Tracey Smith, Writer/Broadcaster Sustainable Living, Author of The Book Of Rubbish Ideas