As someone who recycles, composts, avoids heavily packaged items and works for a company making recycled and recyclable 3-ring binders and pocket folders, even I wonder what impact recycling has and if it is making a difference.
Reducing household trash has other positive effects on the nation besides keeping waste out of landfills. Recycling also benefits the environment and the economy. Recycling products reduces the amount of fuel needed to produce new materials. Americans recycle 87 million tons of waste per year, and the amount of greenhouse gas emissions saved is equivalent to removing 33 million cars from the road. Just the number of aluminum cans saved from American trash bins annually saves enough gasoline to fuel more than 722,000 cars for over three years. Recycling is a big deal!
People in the US have been recycling more and more which is great. There are few things that could really help if I read this right. Looking at the chart, it seems if everyone composted yard and food waste we would already cut MSW by over 25%.
Also, being mindful of what we buy – how it is presented, packaging etc – could cut this down even further. Check it out for yourself!