Why recycle?

Because it saves natural resources.

The things we use every day, newspapers, soda cans, plastic bottles, are made from materials that come from Earth: newspapers come from trees; soda cans, from the metals we extract from the mines; plastic, from oil that is also extracted from the Earth.

Our planet has a limited supply of these valuable natural resources, yet we continue to treat them as worthless.

For example:

  • Every hour we Spaniards throw away thousands of plastic bottles. Enough to cover the entire surface of the peninsula at the end of the year.
  • Every week we throw away between 20 and 25 tons of glass containers; with them you could fill a skyscraper from the basement to the top floor.
  • Every six months we throw away enough aluminum to rebuild all of our airlines' planes.
  • Every year we throw away about 3 million kilos of paper and cardboard; with them you could build a wall from one end of the country to the other.
  • By recycling we save all these resources. Instead of taking more new material out of the Earth we can reuse the same ones over and over again.

Because it saves energy.

Energy is one of the most valuable things on this planet. It is what makes cars go, what generates light and heat, what makes factories work, etc. We get this energy from the Earth's natural resources, burning coal, oil, or natural gas to generate electricity.

A lot of energy is consumed to extract metals, to cut down trees or to extract oil from the depths. And a lot of energy is also spent to transform these raw materials into products in factories.

So recycling saves energy in two ways: it allows us to reuse materials instead of wasting the energy that would be needed to continually pull them out of the ground, and at the same time it allows factories to use less energy as it is easier to convert into products. new recycled materials than raw materials.

For example:

  • It takes 20 times more energy to make an aluminum can from new materials than from recycled materials.
  • With the steel that is recycled every year, enough energy is saved to supply electricity to Madrid and Barcelona for ten years. Making paper and glass with recycled materials consumes 25% less energy than with raw materials.

Because it produces less pollution.

Manufacturing products with any kind of material contaminates. For example, when factories are running pollution gets into the air through their chimneys. Chemicals used to make paper or plastic can get into our lakes and rivers.

If we want to get new products, there will always be some contamination. But it can decrease if we use recycled materials.

For example:

  • Making an aluminum can with recycled material generates 95% less air pollution than making it with raw material.
  • For every ton of paper we recycle, we prevent 25,000 liters of water from being treated with chemical products.
  • Making glass from recycled materials reduces air pollution by 14-20%

Thus, recycling helps keep the water and air we breathe clean.

Because it protects animals.

When we open holes for septic tanks, or to extract metals or oil; how much we cut down trees; When we pollute our water or our air, we also endanger the places where animals live, that is, their habitats.

Recycling means less digging and drilling, less felling and demolition… It means less destruction of forests, rivers and fields.

Because it helps our communities.

It will seem funny, but garbage is expensive. We have to pay for them to come with trucks to pick it up; we have to pay to build dumps to bury the rubbish in, and we have to pay people a salary to take care of these things.

If we produce less garbage, our communities can save money, which means that money could be used for other things, for example building sports fields, buying books for libraries or improving school facilities.

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