• Press Release

Recycling Works on Earth Day and Every Day

(Washington, DC) – In recognition of the 49th Earth Day, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) is joining individuals and organizations around the world in celebration of the earth and what can be done to preserve it. Earth Day, started in 1970, takes place annually on April 22 in a worldwide effort to save and nurture the environment of which recycling plays a crucial role.

“As the original green industry, recyclers understand the vital role the industry plays in the protection, preservation, and future of the planet,” said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “Earth Day is time for everyone to come together and actively participate in ways to better the environment and world in which we live. Recycling is a way of achieving that goal. Individuals can work to recycling properly at home, communities can invest more in capital improvements, brands can design more with recycling in mind, and the increase the use of more sophisticated technology in sorting and processing. Recycling is part the efforts to save our planet and it works every day to turn used, obsolete products, into feedstock for the manufacturing of new goods.”

The theme of this year’s Earth Day is protecting threatened and endangered species. Recycling plays a crucial role in this respect. Each year the scrap recycling industry processes roughly 130 million metric tons of materials, manufacturing it into useful raw materials. In doing so, the recycling helps to preserve natural resources. The use of recycled material reduces the need for virgin materials, such as iron ore, trees, and other resources, thereby preserving the natural habitats of animals across the earth.

Earth Day Recycling Facts:

  • The total estimated reduction in C02 emissions from scrap recycling globally is approximately 410 million tons per year.
  • Recycling one car saves the energy equivalent of 450 gallons of gasoline and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 8,811 lbs.
  • There is up to 87 percent reduction in energy consumption when producing recycled plastic compared to producing plastic from virgin materials.
  • Recycling one ton of paper saves 3.3 cubic yards of landfill.
  • Recycling one plastic bottle conserves enough energy to light a 60 watt bulb for up to six hours.

    For more facts and figures, visit ISRI’s 2019 Earth Day Toolkit.


The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) is the "Voice of the Recycling Industry™." ISRI represents 1,300 companies in 20 chapters in the U.S. and more than 40 countries that process, broker, and consume scrap commodities, including metals, paper, plastics, glass, rubber, electronics, and textiles. With headquarters in Washington, DC, the Institute provides education, advocacy, safety and compliance training, and promotes public awareness of the vital role recycling plays in the U.S. economy, global trade, the environment and sustainable development. Generating nearly $117 billion annually in U.S. economic activity, the scrap recycling industry provides more than 500 million Americans with good jobs.

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