Agenda 21 requires governments, industry and the public to make efforts to reduce the amount of waste by:
- encouraging recycling;
- reducing wasteful packaging of products;
- introducing products that are more environmentally sound.
At the moment, the amount of waste produced in the developed world is not sustainable. For example, 99% of the materials used to make goods in the USA becomes waste within six weeks of sale, including the goods themselves. Most waste is buried underground in landfill sites; in the UK only around 7% of household waste is recycled.
It is estimated that every year in the UK each person throws out the equivalent of:
- Over 100 glass bottles;
- 70 plastic bottles;
- 300 cans;
- 150 newspapers and magazines;
- Over 60 kg of food scraps and kitchen waste.
All of these types of waste can be easily recycled, which saves resources and energy.
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