We are all aware that we need to recycle, cut down our consumption and try and live in a less wasteful way. But just how serious is our waste problem? Is it really such a problem? These nine shocking statistics about waste should get you thinking and ready to act.
1) The average UK household throws away around £470 worth of food that could be eaten every year. Food waste is a huge problem and throwing away all that edible food is a massive waste of money.
2) 18 million tonnes of waste are sent every year to a landfill site in the UK. Much of this could be recycled, composted or used again.
3) It takes 50 times more energy to make a battery than the power that you get from the battery. With such a high level of energy used, it might be worth considering rechargeable batteries and making sure you use them until they are definitely empty.
4) It takes 70% less energy to recycle paper than to make it from scratch. With recycling providing new materials and saving energy, it is 100% worth recycling paper wherever possible.
5) An average UK household uses 600 aluminium cans in just one year. Aluminium cans are totally recyclable, so there is no reason to throw them away. In the UK, that adds up to five billion cans year.
6) Around 80% of materials in landfills could have been recycled. From large items to paper, bottles and cans, we can all do more to cut down how much waste ends up in a landfill site.
7) We make 20 times more plastic than we did 50 years ago. Most of this can be easily recycled, but a shocking amount still ends up in landfill, where it takes over 500 years to decompose.
8) Businesses in the USA use about 21 million tonnes of paper each year. As it takes far less energy to recycle paper than to make it from scratch, businesses should be taking their paper recycling seriously.
9) The average household in the UK uses around 500 glass bottles and jars every year. Glass takes over 4000 years to decompose, and it is completely recyclable, so think twice before throwing them in the bin!