Recycling is one of the easiest and most forceful ways to decrease your individual impact on the environment. In 2006, 82 million tons of municipal solid waste (or MSW—the technical term for trash) was recycled, saving the energy equivalent of more than 10 billion gallons of gasoline. The largest portion of municipal solid waste is made up of paper products. These products include every day things like food packaging, newspapers, tissues, cardboard boxes and paper plates. While the amount of paper waste, and waste in general, generated in the U.S. increases every year, Americans have started taking responsibility for the waste they produce by reusing and recycling in great numbers. In 2006, 50% of paper waste in the U.S. was recycled. This number shows an improvement over the year before and recycling rates all over the country continue to go up. Local communities also have many resources for recycling paper and other products, such as curbside pickup programs.
Find out exactly what you can and cannot recycle in your community. Also, think about ways you can reuse your paper, like saving it for scratch or printing unimportant documents. Every effort counts.
Take Action / Next Steps
Ready to start recycling paper products? Sign up for the goal on ecomii Action and track your progress.