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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Wacky Waste Facts

Have you ever thought about how much rubbish you and your family throw away every week? Or why we need to stop throwing so much of it away? This page is full of amazing waste facts. Did you know that...

General garbage

The UK produces more than 434 million tonnes of waste every year. This rate of rubbish generation would fill the Albert Hall in London in less than 2 hours.

Every year UK households throw away the equivalent of 3 ½ million double-decker buses (almost 30 million tonnes), a queue of which would stretch from London to Sydney(Australia) and back.

On average, each person in the UK, throws away seven times their body weight (about 500kg) in rubbish every year.


On average, every family in the UK consumes around 330 glass bottles and jars a year. (British Glass)
It is not known how long glass takes to break down but it is so long that glass made in the Middle East over 3000 years ago can still be found today.

Recycling two bottles saves enough energy to boil water for five cups of tea.

Fantastic plastic

Every year, an estimated 17½ billion plastic bags are given away by supermarkets. This is equivalent to over 290 bags for every person in the UK. 17½ billion seconds ago it was the year 1449.

We produce and use 20 times more plastic today than we did 50 years ago!


1 litre of oil can pollute 1 million litres of fresh drinking water (Scottish Oil Care Campaign).

Waste oil from nearly 3 million car oil changes in Britain is not collected. If collected properly, this could meet the annual energy needs of 1.5 million people. (Scottish Oil Care Campaign)

Preposterous paper

About one fifth of the contents of household dustbins consists of paper and card, of which half is newspapers and magazines.This is equivalent to over 4kg of waste paper per household in the UK each week.

Persistent packaging

In 2001 UK households produced the equivalent weight of 245 jumbo jets per week in packaging waste.

Every year each person produces 4 times as much packaging waste as their luggage allowance on a jumbo jet.

Revolting rubbish

Babies' nappies makes up about 2 % of the average household rubbish. This is equivalent to the weight of nearly 70,000 double decker buses every year. If lined up front to end, the buses would stretch from London to Edinburgh

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