The effort to combat the problems the world faces with waste right now must be addressed on a global scale, not just by individual countries. More than 2 billion tons of waste pours into landfills each year and would fill enough trucks to circle the earth 24 times. This amount will only continue to rise as the population increases.
It is difficult to determine how much of this waste could be recycled. So many people simply toss recyclables in the trash thinking they could not possibly be contributing to the problem. However, America alone generates more than 254 million tons of trash per year.
Individuals are not the only contributors to the issue. Businesses and governments also play a significant role in reducing global waste. It is important that we start making changes now. The following figures explain why it is urgent that we make a more concerted effort to recycle.
Shocking Global Facts
- There are 7.7 billion people in the world as of December 2018.
- An estimated 55 billion tons of raw, natural, resources are extracted from the earth each year. That is close to 8 tons of material each year for every person on the planet.
- The current rate of population growth, combined with the extraction of resources and waste production, means all of humanity is living well beyond our means. Our resources are finite and studies show that we would need 1.7, or more, Planet Earth’s to maintain our rate of consumption for the foreseeable future.
These numbers do seem alarming but there are countries making significant changes to government policies, as well as providing funding and financial incentives, to encourage recycling. With higher deposits for the initial purchase of products in recyclable packaging, more individuals are encouraged to return containers for a refund.
The following countries are the top recyclers and all of us can learn from them:
- Germany tops the list with an impressive 56.1 percent of its waste being recycled.
- Austria comes in second with 53.8 percent.
- South Korea is at 53.7 percent.
- Wales has a respectable 52.2 percent rate and aims to be a zero-waste country by 2050. They could surpass Germany in just a few short years
The United States fails to even make it into the top 10 countries with regards to recycling. We are slowly making progress but could do much more. There are more than 2,000 landfills operating in the United States and each one is filling rapidly. The EPA estimates that 75 percent of America’s solid waste is recyclable but we only recycle about 30 percent of it.
While many American communities and cities have established great recycling initiatives and programs for residents, there is still room for improvement at every level. Companies around the country recognize the benefits of recycling and are now stepping up to do their part to help our environment.
At Consolidated Resources, Inc., we are committed to helping businesses enhance their recycling efforts which benefits the environment as well as saves money. With our full-service commercial and industrial recycling solutions, you can trust that with our almost 30 years of experience, we will provide the very best service for your business. From custom containers to flexible scheduling and top market prices, we at CRI are proud to serve local Arizona businesses.