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Recycling Facts

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These make quite alarming reading - if we want to have any kind of planet to pass on to our children and grandchildren, perhaps we need to be a little more aware of our actions.

No one has to save the planet single-handedly but if we each took a few small steps, we can achieve great things together.

  • We get through nearly 3 billion disposable nappies each year in the UK alone and around 90% of these end up on landfill sites. Disposable nappies take 500 years to decompose.
  • The disposal of nappies costs Bristol City Council around £500,000 per year.
  • Over 20,000 tonnes of batteries are sent to landfill site in the UK each year. It takes 50 times more energy to make a battery than it gives during its life.
  • Each day, we produce enough rubbish to fill Trafalgar Square to the height of Nelson's Column.
  • Each year, one person gets through 90 drink cans, 70 food cans, 107 bottles and jars and 45kg of plastic.
  • 55 million 2-litre plastic bottles are thrown away in Bristol each year.
  • The UK uses about 12 billion cans each year - that's enough to stretch to the moon and back!
  • On average each person in England and Wales produces nearly 500kg of household waste a year.
  • In Bristol last year, 10 thousand tonnes of paper were collected and recycled.
  • 7 million trees are cut down every year just to make disposable nappies.
  • The average British family throws away 6 trees worth of paper in their household bin a year.
  • Every tonne of paper recycled saves 17 trees.
  • 25% of household waste is packaging and we throw £36 million worth of aluminium into landfill sites.
  • Last year in Bristol, nearly 4.5 thousand tonnes of glass bottles and jars were collected and recycled.
  • Five out of six glass bottles are thrown away.

About the Author: Arabella Greatorex is the owner of an online store selling organic and fairly traded products for families including organic clothing and nappies, fairly traded toys and natural toiletries.

© Arabella Greatorex 2007

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