Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Sustainability facts

Did  you know...

1.  The average American uses 650 pounds of paper each year; 100 million tons of wood could be saved each year if all that paper was recycled.

2.  Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.

3.  A typical family consumes 182 gallons of soda, 29 gallons of juice, 104 gallons of mil, and 26 gallons of bottled water a year. That’s a lot of containers that can be recycled!

4.  About 80 percent of what Americans throw away is recyclable, yet our recycling rate is only 28 percent.
 
5.  Every month Americans throw out enough glass bottles and jars to fill up a giant skyscraper (think: Empire State Building), but all of these jars are recyclable!
 
6.  Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as a million sea creatures a year! Ever heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? It’s twice the size of Texas and is floating somewhere between San Francisco and Hawaii. It’s also 80 percent plastic, and weighs in at 3.5 million tons.

7.  Recycling one ton (about 2,000 pounds) of paper saves 17 trees, two barrels of oil (enough to run the average car for 1,260 miles), 4,100 kilowatts of energy (enough power for the average home for six months), 3.2 cubic yards of landfill space and 60 pounds of pollution.
 
8.  The 17 trees saved by recycling one ton of paper can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year.

9.  If all our newspapers were recycled, we could save about 250 million trees each year! If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we could save about 25 million trees each year.

10.  More than 20 million Hershey’s Kisses are wrapped each day, using 133 square miles of aluminum foil. Believe it not, ALL that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it, so most it goes in the trash!

11.  Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours. In spite of this, Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild our entire commercial fleet of airplanes every three months!

Source: recyclingmichigan.com