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Paper or Plastic, Why Recycle?

Tell me why we should recycle, and which product...paper or plastic?

Amanda Vance

on 5 May 2010

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Transcript of Paper or Plastic, Why Recycle?

Tell me why...
We should recycle? Paper or Plastic...
Which would you use? Americans use over 67,000,000 tons of paper each year, or 600 pounds per person.
It takes more than 500,000 trees to produce the newspapers Americans read each Sunday, yet only 30% of all newspapers are recycled.
Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 2 barrels of oil, 7,000 gallons of water and 4,100 kilowatt hours of electricity - enough energy to power the average American home for 5 months.
Producing recycled paper requires about 60% of the energy used to make paper from virgin wood pulp.
Every day, Americans buy 62 million newspapers and throw out 44 million. That's the equivalent of dumping 500,000 trees into a landfill every week.
If everyone in the U.S. recycled just 1/10th of their newsprint, we would save the estimated equivalent of about 25 million trees a year.
In the manufacturing process of recycled paper
74% less air pollution is generated
35% less water pollution is generated
58% less water is required
64% less energy is required
One ton of high-grade recyclable paper can substitute for approximately 3 tons of wood in making new paper products.
Every year more than 900 million trees are cut down to provide raw materials for American paper and pulp mills.

Plastics require 100 to 400 years to break down in a landfill.
Producing new plastic from recycled material uses only two-thirds of the energy required to manufacture it from raw materials.
For every 7 trucks needed to deliver paper grocery bags to the store, only 1 is needed to carry the same number of plastic grocery bags.
By using plastic in packaging, American product manufacturers save enough energy each year to power a city of 1 million homes for 3 _ years.
As much as 40% of selected plastic parts from damaged or discarded cars are repaired and reused.
Over 1.5 billion pounds of post-consumer plastic bottles were recycled during 1999, accounting for 22% (by weight) of all plastic bottles produced in the U.S.
PET bottles (soda & water) and HDPE bottles (milk, laundry detergent) are the most commonly collected plastic materials in community recycling programs.
95% of all plastic bottles in the U.S. market are manufactured from PET or HDPE. 56% of recycled PET finds a market in the manufacture of fiber (carpet & clothing). 29% of HDPE recycled bottles go into making new bottles and 18% goes into the plastic pipe industry.
Recycling 1 ton of plastic can save 1-2 thousand gallons of gas.
Every year we make enough plastic film to shrink-wrap the state of Texas.

Saves Natural Resources - By making products from recycled materials instead of virgin materials, we conserve land and reduce the need to drill for oil and dig for minerals.
Saves Energy - It usually takes less energy to make recycled products; recycled aluminum, for example, takes 95% less energy than new aluminum from bauxite ore.
Saves Clean Air and Water - In most cases, making products from recycled materials creates less air pollution and water pollution than making products from virgin materials.
Saves Landfill Space - When the materials that you recycle go into new products, they don't go into landfills or incinerators, so landfill space is conserved.
Saves Money and Creates Jobs - The recycling process creates far more jobs than landfills or incinerators, and recycling can frequently be the least expensive waste management method for cities and towns.
So get together, recycle!

Students Task…
Your group will use the internet to research information about recycling paper and plastic bags to create an informative poster, or PowerPoint. This poster or PowerPoint will be displayed in a grocery store to help shoppers make informed decisions to the question “Why we should recycle?”

In order to get your team ready for the mission, you will need to visit and explore the following sites. Everyone in the group should get some background information before dividing into roles. The Paper Advocate
What advantages come from using paper bags instead of plastic bags?
Can paper bags be reused? If so, how?
Can paper bags be recycled? If so, how?
How does the paper industry affect our trees and forest?
The Plastic Advocate
What advantages come from using plastic bags instead of paper bags
Can plastic bags be reused? If so, how?
Can plastic bags be recycled? If so, how?
Which of the four types of recycling processes for plastic is most often used?
Which types of plastics are the most easily recycled?

The Recycling Pessimist
What are some major drawbacks for choosing and/or recycling paper?
What are some major drawbacks for choosing and/or recycling plastic?
Which of the four types of Recycling Processes for plastic is most often used (and how might this be good or bad)?
Is there a more environment friendly choice you can make when faced with the choice between paper and plastic bags?
The Concerned Citizen
What do International Paper and Visy Industries do to recycle?
What environmental commitments did Union Camp and Visy Industries set for themselves?
What money is spent on environmental research by the paper industry?
What is being done by the paper industry to reduce the use of non-renewable fossil fuels?
What is being done by the plastics industry to help the problems caused by plastic?
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