5 Facts About Recycling
1. It takes roughly 60 days for a used aluminium can to make its way back onto the shelf. And taking the time and effort to recycle all those used drink cans really is worth your while: 95% less energy is needed to make new cans from recycled aluminium than from the raw material.
2. Every year the United States processes more than 113 billion kilos of scrap material, the weight of more than 70 million cars. Included in the annual total is enough iron (by weight) to build more than 900 Golden Gate Bridges.
3. The challenges of using old materials to create new products continues to inspire innovation across the world. One macadamia farm in Australia uses the shells of vintage Apple Macs as nesting boxes for pest-eating birds, while a Taiwanese company has built a three-storey exhibition hall known as the EcoARK using 1.5 million plastic bottles in place of bricks. Its aim is to raise awareness about the importance of recycling.
4. If you thought the green movement was a relatively new development, you're off by roughly half a million years. ‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’ was also the unofficial mantra of our prehistoric ancestors, who shaped discarded fragments of elephant bone into tools and repurposed flint to cut through meat.
5. The ‘make do and mend’ mentality was also a crucial part of life during WW2 as austerity measures and rationing made recycling a necessity. Limited resources fostered creativity: bracelets were constructed from aircraft components, wedding gowns were fashioned using old parachutes and underwear designed using silk Royal Air Force maps.
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