Recycling is both simple and beneficial. To start out, it is good for the environment as a glass bottle that is sent to a landfill can take up to a million years to break down.
By contrast, it takes as little as 30 days for a bottle to leave your kitchen recycle bin and appear on a store shelf as a new bottle. This is also an act of sustainability as these containers are 100-percent recyclable, which means they can be recycled repeatedly with no loss of purity or quality in the material.
This is also efficient since recovered glass is the primary ingredient in all new containers. A typical glass container is made of as much as 70 percent recycled materials.
Glass recycling also conserves natural resources and energy. Every ton of glass that is recycled saves more than a ton of the raw materials needed to create new materials.
Recycled glass is useful because it is made from natural materials such as sand and limestone; which means it has a low rate of chemical interaction with their contents. As a result, glass can be safely reused to make things like new containers, recycled decorative tiles, and landscaping material to rebuilding eroded beaches.
Recycling is as simple as putting another bin in your kitchen and putting it into the blue bin next to your garbage bin on the curb. Glass is accepted by almost all curbside recycling programs and municipal recycling centers across the nation.
All that you have to do is to carry your recycling bin full of bottles, jars, containers, etc. to the curb, or maybe drop off their empty glass containers at a nearby collection point. If you need an extra incentive to recycle, there are several states that offer cash refunds for most bottles so you can actually put a little extra money in your pocket.
Another recycling material is plastic, which is one of the most important because there is so much of it.
Plastics are used to manufacture an incredible number of products we use every day, such as beverage and food containers, trash bags, grocery bags, cups and utensils, children's toys, diapers, and bottles for everything from mouthwash and shampoo to glass cleaner and dishwashing liquid.
It is in a lot of the products we use, and those are just some of the things mentioned above. There is also furniture, appliances, computers, televisions, cell phones, automobiles, and many, many more.
As the use of plastics has increased over the years, they have become a larger part of the municipal solid waste stream; which has grown over 12 percent over the last 50 years. As an example of how and why recyclable waste is increasing, the Beverage Marketing Corporation reports that the average American consumes 28.3 gallons of bottled water in a year.
The United States is the world's leading consumer of bottled water buying 28 billion bottles of water annually. About 70 to 80 percent of those bottles end up in landfills.
Plastics conserve energy and natural resources when it is recycled. People who recycle reduce the amount of energy and natural resources needed to create new materials.
We can also save landfill space and reduce dumping in the ocean is we make a conscious effort to recycle our waste. This helps keep products out of landfills and allows the materials to be reused in manufacturing new products.
To put it in perspective, by recycling one ton of materials we can save 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space. Recycling plastics has never been easier as 80 percent of Americans have easy access to a plastics program, whether they participate in a municipal curbside program or live near a drop-off site.
According to the American Plastics Council, more than 1,800 businesses in the United States handle or reclaim post-consumer plastics. In addition, many grocery stores now serve as a collection site for bags, cans, bottles, and wrap.