Recycling is a very useful and simple gesture that the environment appreciates in several ways. The need for new raw materials to create products and the entire process of extraction, transportation, processing and energy expenditure decreases when reused recycled waste. Likewise, these containers are prevented from ending up in landfills, increasingly saturated and with environmental impact problems. Therefore, recycling also contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The figures offered by the recycling management organizations are eloquent. The recycling of 3,000 glass bottles avoids 1,000 kilos of waste and saves more than a ton of raw materials, according to Ecovidrio, the non-profit association that manages the recycling of glass in Spain. In this way, he adds, air pollution is reduced by 20%, by burning less fuel for the manufacture of new containers.
Those responsible for Ecovidrio emphasize that glass is one of the most natural materials to recycle. Also, melting and reshaping it saves 93% of materials and 23% of energy, since the manufacture of new glass containers with raw materials requires greater energy use than those made with recycled glass (calcium). For example, each recycled bottle avoids consuming the electricity that a 100-watt bulb would need for four hours, while with four recycled bottles it saves the power required to keep a refrigerator running all day.
Ecoembes, the non-profit private company that manages the collection and recycling of light packaging (plastic containers, cans, and bricks) and paper and cardboard in Spain, also recalls that plastics have many uses and are easy to recycle. Since they come from petroleum, their recycling avoids extracting this polluting raw material. Metals are also precious, Ecoembes points out since, with their recycling, less energy is consumed than manufacturing new metal from minerals.