Metals, glass, building materials, and most plastics are made from limited natural resources. Some items made from these materials can be reused, and this saves the most energy and reduces the impact on the environment. For example, glass bottles only need to be washed and sterilised before they can be filled again. Other products cannot be reused in this way, but they can be recycled.
The advantages of recycling compared to producing materials and objects from natural resources include:
Recycling is easy and has a huge impact in the fight against climate change. Recycling 1 tonne of paper saves 19 trees from being cut down, which helps capture carbon dioxide, reducing global warming.
Recycling also reduces energy consumption and the need for raw materials. The production of recycled paper requires 65% less energy than the production of new paper from raw materials.
Aluminium can be recycled repeatedly, saving around 95% of the greenhouse gas emissions compared to extraction. Recycling 1 tonne of aluminium saves 9 tonnes of CO2 emissions. 1 tonne of CO2 is equivalent to driving a car 2,800 miles.
There are many websites available that can advise on items that are recyclable according to your postcode and the nearest locations for items to be recycled that cannot be recycled in your household bins.