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But why? But why? Be curious, be inquisitive ... learn about why we recycle ...

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

‘But why? But why?’ When you were 4 or 5 years old you probably bombarded anyone who would listen with this question! ‘But why? But why?’ Being a Young Climate Warrior is about asking questions, sparking discussions, and being curious. So… what do you think – why is it that we need to recycle things like glass jars and tin cans?

What to you reckon? – Firstly to save raw materials?Glass is made from approximately 70% sand mixed with various chemicals – for example - lead oxide to add sparkle, magnesium oxide to make it durable, and copper oxide to give it colour. All the components need to be mined, and processed in a laboratory. Secondly, have you ever thought about all the hard work that goes into making one simple glass jar?Making glass and metal cans requires energy and therefore causes carbon emissions. You can make 20 recycled aluminium drinks cans with the same amount of energy it takes to make one from raw materials – think of the carbon emissions savings if every can was recycled!

Have you guessed the third reason? -Thirdly, and importantly, in terms of climate change, recycling products saves them from going to landfill (being buried in the ground with other rubbish). Landfill sites are a key source of methane emissions. Methane is a really powerful gas – its impact on climate change is 34 times worse than carbon dioxide – over 100 years.

Your challenge this week is to get to grips with your home recycling – make sure everything that can be recycled actually is, explain to your family why it’s important – and keep up the ‘why’s’! Remember to HIT THE RED BUTTON when you have completed this challenge!

Unlike plastics, glass and metal can be recycled again and again. Can you imagine a circular system where we just keep recycling and don’t need to produce any more glass, ever?

It is National Recycling Week (20th-26thSeptember) – so maybe you’ve already talked about recycling in school this week. Would you like to find out more about how glass and cans are recycled? You might be interested in these one-minute animations: Glass recycling and Metal can recycling.

It is important to remember the recycling is only the 3rd R of ‘Reduce, Re-use, Recycle’. To help protect our planet, wherever possible we should be reducing, and re-using, and only recycling as a third step. Click here to read about some inspirational ‘zero waste warriors’ – we have made great strides in reducing, and reusing – they are trying to live without producing any waste at all!

Remember to HIT THE RED BUTTON and let your voice be heard - alongside hundreds of Young Climate Warriors who are also making a special effort with their recycling this week!


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