Plastics make up a large amount of waste, since they are available in numerous forms (there are about 50 different family groups of plastics!).
Producing new plastic from recycled material uses only 2/3 of the energy required to manufacture it from raw materials…
- 61% of the total plastic waste from Western Europe is from packaging. This plastic waste requires collecting, sorting, etc. and is therefore complicated and hard to recycle.
- The UK produces approximately 4.5 million tonnes of plastic waste per year. Only 3% of this waste is recycled. Most of this waste arises from packaging.
- In Germany the recycling rate for plastic is 70%.
- Americans use some 14 billion plastic shopping bags, an average of 425 bags per person.
- each New Zealander consumes approximately 31 kg of plastic packaging per year and recycles 5.58kg; approx 190,000 tons of plastic wastes are disposed of to New Zealand landfills each year but at least 50% of them are imported*.
Did you know that…
- …plastics require 100 to 400 years to break down at the landfill.
- …it takes 5 recycled two-liter soda bottles to make enough fiberfill for a ski jacket.
- ….recycling 1 ton of PETE* saves us
|800 kg of petrol; |
|the amount of power used by 2 people in 1 year; |
|the amount of water used by 1 person in 2 months. |
* Polyethylene terephthalate (PET, or PETE) is one of the most common materials used to package soft drinks and mineral water.