Producing electricity is the number one cause of air pollution in the United States. Lighting is up to 35% of America’s electricity consumption. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a one hundred-watt bulb for twenty hours, a computer for three hours, or a TV for two hours. Americans throw away enough aluminum every month to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet. All of these are reasons why recycling should become a mandatory process in which the world’s population should participate.
Making recycling mandatory would save us crucially scarce resources and would drastically reduce pollution in land, sea, and air. The key to reducing pollution and saving resources lays not only in the households of the American people, but also in the large companies and industries. If Americans recycled all their junk mail, in one day there would be enough recycled energy to heat 250,000 homes. Now think how many trees and how much energy would be saved, if this junk mail was never produced. Big companies choose to make new materials over recycled materials because they are more appealing to the consumer’s eye.
Even though producing recycled materials cost less than a quarter of the energy that is required to produce new materials, companies still have it in their heads to make new products because they think they will sell more. Big companies can also cave time and energy by selling in bulk rather than individually packaged items. This would also save the consumer money because one out of every eleven dollars that an American spends on food items goes to packaging. Americans go through 25 billion plastic bottles every year. If one out of every ten bottles used by Americans was recycled we’d keep 200 million pounds out of landfills every year.
If Americans used refillable bottles you can only imagine how much energy and plastic would be saved for use in other forms of manufacturing. Plastic bottles aren’t the only drink containers going to landfills; more than 36 billion aluminum cans littered our landfills last year, that’s more than $600,000,000 in scrap. Someday we’ll be mining our own landfills for the resources that we’ve buried. The up side to aluminum cans is that today thirty-five percent is made from recycled materials. Americans throw out enough glass bottles and jars every two weeks to fill up the former World Trade Center.
Glass never wears out. It can keep being recycled over and over again. We will save a ton of recourses for every ton of glass recycled. Once again, the up side to glass is most jars contain twenty-five percent recycled material. As you can see the only way to keep this planet clean and plentiful with resources is to make recycling mandatory. If recycling is made mandatory in the U. S. the environmental changes would be extravagant. So let’s help the environment and keep this Earth clean for our kids and grandkids to follow.