Did you know that the plastic water bottle you drop into a recycling bin can be made into a
new plastic bottle a whopping 10 times, before then being made into another product such as
clothing? And cans? Incredibly, they are infinitely recyclable! When you imagine how many
bottled beverages or cans of soda, water, beer, energy drinks, and iced coffee you drink every
year, that is a lot of solid waste that can be recycled and back on grocery store shelves in the
short span of 60 days, rather than taking up room in a landfill somewhere!
If you asked most Americans, they would say they support recycling— why wouldn’t anyone?
And yet the current recycling rate in the United States stands at an underwhelming 32%,
according to the EPA. Granted, this is a great deal better than the measly 7% recycling rate of
1960, but it leaves much room for improvement. Consider also that in 1960, Americans
generated about 2.68 pounds of garbage per day. As of 2017, that number has grown to an
average of 4.51 pounds!
The importance of home recycling is tremendous, especially as we consume more packaged
products at home than ever. All those recycled bottles, cans, glass jars, plastic bags, and
cardboard boxes really add up over time and help keep our environment clean and our
ecosystems healthy! If you’re a dutiful recycler, kudos to you for doing your part!
You may not realize it, but your recycling not only positively impacts the environment— it also
helps to keep 681,000 people employed, generates over $37 billion in wages, and over $5
billion in tax revenues! So keep it up, and spread the good news! Home recycling of solid
waste not only contributes to a better planet for all of us, it generates great jobs for our fellow
citizens and helps our economy thrive.