Recycling is one of the most important ways to protect the environment, reducing waste bound for landfill and reusing non-renewable materials.
As a society, we buy more food, clothes and other products than ever before, creating huge amounts of rubbish as a result.
Australia faces a serious waste challenge, generating an estimated 67 million tonnes of waste in 2016, according to the latest official figures.
That’s a whopping 2.7 tonnes of waste per capita each year.
But we are also recycling much more than we used to, with our national recycling rate reaching 58 per cent — up 6 per cent on a decade ago.
What we recycle today will have significant consequences for future generations and the future of the planet.
Here’s why recycling is important for the future:
It protects the environment
Recycling helps to keep non-biodegradable materials like certain plastic, which can take up to 1,000 years to decompose, out of landfill.
When these products are dumped in landfill, they can pollute natural habitats and kill wildlife.
Additionally, it keeps toxic substances like mercury and lead out of landfill, where they can have a destructive effect on their surroundings.
These sorts of substances are found in plenty of everyday items, including fluorescent lighting, electronic devices and batteries, so it’s important to check what can be recycled before tossing it in the bin.
It allows us to reuse non-renewables
Recycling also gives old non-renewable materials a second lease on life when they are used in new products.
Resources like steel, aluminium, copper and mercury can be reused when they are recycled properly, reducing the need to mine more of these minerals out of the ground.
For example, when mercury-containing lighting is recycled, the mercury can be safely recovered and reused in products like dental amalgam.
Reusing old resources also caps the future cost of non-renewable materials.
Recycling one aluminium can save 95 per cent of the energy it would take to make new metal from bauxite ore, according to Recycling Near You.
Start recycling today
It’s our duty to look after the environment, and recycling today will leave the planet in a better place for future generations.
If you need more information about recycling in general, visit RecyclingNearYou.
However, if you need help recycling batteries, lighting, electronic waste and other mercury-containing products, then Ecocycle can help.
Ecocycle is Australia’s leading mercury recycler, with state-of-the-art facilities and a highly experienced team of experts.
Give us a call on 1300 32 62 92 or fill out the form below, and one of our waste specialists will be happy to help.