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Save Natural Resources

Recycling Saves Natural Resources

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  • Be an Environmental Shopper and reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Our finite reserves of natural resources are being depleted rapidly, particularly with the increasing use of disposable products and packaging. Pennsylvanians recycled5 million tons in 2005. This rate of use and disposal takes a particularly heavy toll on irreplaceable natural resources from our forests and mines.

Reprocessing used materials to make new products and packaging reduces the consumption of natural resources. By recycling over 1.2 million tons of steel in 2005, Pennsylvanians saved 1.4 million tons of iron ore, 829,786 tons of coal, and 71,124 tons of limestone. Through recycling newsprint, office paper and mixed paper, we saved the equivalent of78 million tree seedlings grown for 10 years. Recycling often produces better products than those made of virgin materials; for instance, the tin in "tin" cans is more refined (thus more valuable) after being processed for recycling.

Source reduction, preventing waste before it is generated, can further reduce the need for disposal and save more resources.