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Benefits of Recycling

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Plastics production requires significant quantities of resources, primarily fossil fuels, both as a raw material and to deliver energy for the manufacturing process. Plastic production uses 8% of the world's oil production, 4% as feedstock to make plastic resins and 4% during the manufacturing process.
A report on the production of plastic grocery carrier bags made from recycled rather than virgin polythene concluded that the use of recycled plastic resulted in the following:

  • Reduction of energy consumption by 67%
  • Production of only 33% of the sulfur dioxide and 50% of the nitrous oxide
  • Reduction of water usage by nearly 90%
  • Reduction of carbon dioxide generation by 87%

Recycling a single plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60W bulb for up to 6 hours.
Nearly 1.8 tons of oil is saved for every ton of recycled polythene produced. (wasteonline.org.uk)


Recycling saves Energy and Resources

We must understand that recycling plastic still uses energy, because the plastic must be shredded, cleaned, melted and remolded, but it requires significantly less energy than making fresh plastic. In addition 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 materials. According to the Stanford University Recycling Center, recycling 1 ton of plastic saves the equivalent of 5,774 kilowatt-hours of electric energy.


Reduced Oil Consumption

Manufacturers make plastics from crude oil derivatives or natural gas, so making more plastic consumes an increasing amount of nonrenewable fossil fuel. The amount of oil needed to produce a plastic bottle is enough to fill a quarter of the bottle. On average, according to the Stanford University recycling center, 1 ton of recycled plastic saves 16.3 barrels of oil. Recycling plastic cuts back on oil consumption, thereby helping to extend the lifespan of our remaining fossil fuel reserves.

 

 

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