Even though it’s incredibly easy to recycle household goods, many people still fail to separate their waste into recyclables and non-recyclables. Sometimes, the best way to motivate people to recycle is by teaching them more about why it’s important to do so and the efforts being made by millions of people around the world. Here’s a look at some surprising recycling statistics that you should share with non-recyclers in your life:

Four Pounds of Trash Per Day

Many people think they won’t make much of a difference by recycling since they’re only one person, but that’s certainly not the case. It’s estimated that the average individual creates around 4 pounds of trash per day, which adds up to nearly 1,500 pounds of trash per year. Clearly, one person can make a difference by choosing to recycle.

Only 30% of the Waste Stream is Recycled

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that about 75% of the waste stream generated by people in the U.S. is recyclable. But unfortunately, only about 30% of the waste stream is actually recycled. This means a lot of waste that could be recycled is ending up in landfills simply because people are not taking the time to separate their waste.

2.5 Million Plastic Bottles Per Hour

People in the U.S. throw away about 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour instead of recycling them. Every plastic bottle that ends up in a landfill will stay there for quite a while. In fact, it takes hundreds of years for a single plastic bottle to decompose. This is one of the many reasons why landfill space is so limited.

Seven Trees A Year

The average individual in the U.S. uses enough paper and wood to account for seven trees per year. Even though paper products are recyclable, many of them are sent to landfills. If more people pitched in to recycle their paper products, the U.S. could save millions of trees every year. In fact, it’s estimated that 25 million trees would be saved if everyone in the U.S. simply recycled one-tenth of their newspapers.

Pieces of Plastic in the Oceans

Much of the plastic waste that is generated here in the U.S. ends up in the oceans if it is not properly recycled. There are over 45,000 pieces of plastic per every square mile of the ocean. Even though you may not see it, it’s there, and it’s a growing problem that needs to be addressed. Not only is this plastic polluting the oceans, but it’s also killing marine life and seabirds.

Recycling One Aluminum Can

Tossing one aluminum can in a recycling bin takes a matter of seconds, but it can save a great deal of energy. As a matter of fact, it’s estimated that recycling a single aluminum can will save enough energy to power a TV for up to three hours.

These statistics show the severity of the problem and the importance of recycling. Share them with your loved ones so you can send them a friendly remember to do their part and recycle!