Globally, the recycling industry is responsible for the recovery and processing of plastic, paper, glass, and ferrous and non-ferrous metals that have been discarded or are no longer in use. Recycling of these materials is critical to societal wellbeing, as it has significant environmental, economic and sustainability benefits.
Recycling reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators (which leads to soil and water pollution over time), and helps conserve natural resources. It also saves energy.*
- Recycling paper saves trees and forests, and making paper from pulped recycled paper uses 40% less energy than making it from virgin wood fibres.
- Recycling plastic means creating less new plastic, (which is usually made from fossil fuel hydrocarbons).
- Recycling metals reduces pressure on the country’s mineral resources, including coal, water and electricity used during the mining process. For example, recycling one ton of aluminium conserves up to five metric tons of bauxite ore and 14 megawatt hours of electricity.
- Recycling glass reduces the need to use new raw materials such as silica.
In a developing country such as South Africa, with high unemployment levels, recycling provides an opportunity for informal waste pickers and hawkers to earn a living by collecting and selling metals, glass, paper and plastic to recycling companies.
At FMP, we are proud to be able to support thousands of people both directly and indirectly by creating income generating opportunities.