We are all responsible for looking after our environment- and by making small changes we can have a massive impact to the world around us.
By Reducing, Reusing and Recycling at home, we can help make the world a better place.
During the COVID-19 crisis it is more important than ever that we all work to reduce, re-use and recycle as much of our waste as possible to ensure the local authorities are able to continue to offer the best service possible. Read our blog to find out more.
We are all responsible for our planet and making sure that we look after it, for ourselves and for future generations. This means thinking about the things we buy, how we use them, and what we do with them once we no longer need them.
In November 2019 more than 11,000 scientists warned that the world is now in a Climate Crisis that would bring untold suffering to the world and that to secure a sustainable future we must completely transform the way we live and how our global society functions and interacts with natural ecosystems.
The UN forecast that without drastic action average warming will be irreversible by 2030.
Recycling in the UK (home recycling) has saved carbon dioxide equivalent to taking 5 million cars off the road from entering the atmosphere. This shows that small changes really do make a big difference.
However, more is needed. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that, if countries fail to act, the world will face catastrophic change - sea levels will rise, ocean temperatures and acidity will increase and our ability to grow crops, such as rice, maize and wheat, would be in danger.
The 20 warmest years on record have all been in the last 22 years with the last four years making up the top four. If this trend continues this could lead to a rise in temperature of between 3-5C by 2100. A rise in temperature of over 1.5C could have catastrophic, irreversible consequences for our climate.
It's estimated that 80% of ocean plastics comes from land based sources. 350 million tonnes of plastic are being produced each year with 8 million tonnes of this entering our oceans annually, this makes up around 75% of marine litter. By reducing the plastic we use everyday and disposing of what's left responsibly, we can all help reduce this.
In addition to the rising litter and pollution in our oceans the increase in, the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is also causing the oceans to become more acidic. The water of our oceans reacts with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere effectively removing it from the atmosphere, preventing it contributing further to global warming. The by-product of this reaction is carbonic acid which is reducing the pH of the oceans making them more acidic. Our oceans are now 26% more acidic than in 1850 making it increasingly difficult for organisms like coral and plankton to form shells and skeletons.
This means implementing recycling ideas for home and learning to reuse whatever possible has never been more important!
If the whole planet was to use resources at the rate the UK does, we would need 2.4 planet Earths to support us.
By reducing our waste, re-using and recycling at home, we can all help to conserve valuable resources. This means that we will need fewer raw materials to be extracted for manufacturing processes.
Almost everything we make uses crude oil in the manufacturing process but crude oil is a finite resource. This means that eventually, it will run out.
Around the world we currently use crude oil at a rate of more than 4 billion tonnes a year, at this rate it is expected that present oil deposits will run out by 2075. Demand for crude oil remains high with its products crucial to road building, fuels for power stations, ships, aircraft, cars and domestic cooking and heating, the production of plastics and manufacture of many household products such as solvents.
Extraction processes of raw materials requires large amounts of energy, with the majority of it coming from fossil fuel sources.
Using recycled materials uses far less energy and therefore will contribute less to man-made global climate change.
Fresh water is a precious and valuable resource and is used on a large scale in the extraction and processing of raw materials.
By using recycled materials instead, water can be conserved. For example- recycling 1 tonne of newspapers can save over 7,000 gallons of water!