United States – ‘Today, we resolve to raise awareness of the important role that reducing, reusing and recycling can play in achieving a more sustainable future.’ These words form part of a proclamation from US president Barack Obama, issued on America Recycles Day which took place this Tuesday.
‘Recycling is a process that allows materials that would otherwise be thrown out to be manufactured into new materials that can be used again,’ the proclamation reads. ‘By decreasing landfill waste and conserving important natural resources, recycling can mitigate pollution, save energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.’
Recycling also ‘strengthens our economy and creates hundreds of thousands of green jobs’, it adds. Obama’s proclamation concludes: ‘I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day (America Recycles Day) with appropriate programs and activities, and I encourage all Americans to continue their reducing, reusing and recycling efforts throughout the year.’
To coincide with America Recycles Day, the US Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries issued a statement confirming recycling as ‘the first link in the manufacturing supply chain’.
The value of scrap
In 2015 alone, it pointed out, the US recycling industry transformed more than 130 million tonnes of scrap metal, paper, plastic, glass, textiles, rubber and electronics into specification-grade commodities for use in new products. The nation also exported more than 37 million tonnes of scrap commodities, valued at US$ 17.5 billion.
The US scrap recycling industry directly and indirectly supplied more than 470 000 Americans with employment last year, it is added. These workers earned US$ 30.8 billion in wages and benefits, with the industry paying US$ 11.2 billion in direct federal, state and local taxes.
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