• Press Release

Rediscover Recycling, It’s Essential on Earth Day and Every Day

Recycling Industry Celebrates Earth Day 2020

(Washington, DC)- The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), the Voice of the Recycling Industry™, today joins the world in celebration of the 50th annual Earth Day. 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 an essential role.

 “The scrap recycling industry is pivotal to environmental protection, resource conservation, and sustainability,” said ISRI President Robin Wiener. “In these unprecedented times, the recycling industry remains essential to the supply of critical raw materials to keep manufacturers in operation. In celebration of Earth Day, we encourage you to take the time to rediscover recycling and its immeasurable benefits.”

In addition to the countless every day benefits, recycling is helping in the fight against COVID-19. Recycled metal, paper, plastics and other commodity‐grade materials feed critical U.S. manufacturing operations. Those in turn are producing the rebar, wiring, tubing, transportation, packaging and other key materials needed for everything from construction of hospitals to the manufacture of new hospital beds, ventilators, toilet paper and other essential supplies. Recycling is both essential to the health of the planet – and to the health of individuals.

Earth Day Recycling Facts:

  • Recyclers are responsible for supplying 58 percent of the feedstock to tissue mills throughout the United States, which are responsible for producing the toilet paper and tissues needed every day by citizens throughout the U.S. and which are currently in critical supply.
  • If all the aluminum scrap possessed in the United States were used to solely make soda cans, the lined-up cans would stretch 25 million miles - the distance from Earth to Venus.
  • Recycling a plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60-watt bulb for 6 hours, power a computer for 30 minutes, or power a television for 20 minutes.
  • One metric ton of electric scrap from personal computers contains more gold than that recovered from 17 tons of gold ore.
  • Recovering 1 ton of paper saves 7,000 gallons of water.

Recycling is essential to so many positive outcomes, and it depends on all of us doing our part not only on Earth Day, but every day of the year.


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 $110 billion annually in U.S. economic activity, the scrap recycling industry provides more than 500,000 Americans with good jobs.

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