In our inaugural 2022 Climate Report, that was recently released as a part of our greater FY22 Sustainability Reporting Suite, we shared information that was released from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report. This information explained how our actions over the next decade will determine whether global warming is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and if the most severe impacts of climate change are prevented.
According to U.S. recycling rates, the United States is the greatest producer of trash in the world! Americans make up five percent of the world’s population, yet they are producing 40 percent of our total waste, globally. We can do better!
November 15 is America Recycles Day, a day that has been dedicated to recognizing the importance and the impact of recycling. Therefore, we put together a list of facts related to recycling and climate change, and some of them just might shock you!
1. By 2050, the ocean will have more plastic in in than fish (by weight)
Each year, between 5-13 million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean as a result of low plastic recycling rates. However, plastic is unfortunately only a small contributor to the problem. Other contributors include, mercury, manufactured chemicals, petroleum wastes, agricultural runoff, and biological threats, like harmful algae blooms. Many are sounding the alarm that this contamination is a threat to human health, as we continue to ingest contaminated seafood.
2. The recycling industry creates more jobs than the solid waste management industry
Approximately 250,000 employees work in the American waste management industry, whereas around 1.25 million are currently employed in the recycling industry earning more, on average.
3. Globally, we produce 2.12 billion tons of waste each year and this amount is projected to triple by 2100
What’s the solution? Together, we need to adjust our recycling habits to ensure preservation of the environment and practice reuse and recycling in our everyday lives, as consumers and businesses.
4. When you recycle one aluminum can, you can save 95 percent of the energy required to make the same amount of aluminum from its virgin source.
Sims Metal – a global leader in metal recycling and a business of Sims Limited – recycled 8.3 million tonnes of ferrous metal (metal containing iron, such as steel) in FY21, which potentially avoided 13.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emission when compared to producing the same amount of steel from raw materials. There is significant benefit to be considered when recycling these materials.
Understanding the Impact of Reuse
Often just knowing your environmental impact is helpful in making decisions regarding sustainability and many businesses are working hard to better understand their environmental impact so they can implement ways to offset it. Sims Lifecycle Services – a leader in providing circular solutions for IT hardware and a business of Sims Limited – is helping businesses understand their impact with a recently introduced sustainability calculator. It is with tools such as this, that we can start to better understand how we can reach sustainability targets and make a positive impact.
Innovation is Key
At Sims Limited, we are constantly seeking ways to support decarbonization and minimize waste in support of our greater purpose, create a world without waste to preserve our planet. Sims Resource Renewal is a great example of this with investments in technology to enable material reuse within the circular economy. Learn more about what they’re working on here!
For more sustainability-related information, visit the sustainability section of our website.