5 shocking statistics about the British way of life

by Tracy Stokes on October 8, 2007

in Sustainable Lifestyle

Over 800,000 metric tonnes of clothing and shoes were thrown away in the UK in 2006.
Shame on us! There are textile collection points in every car park in the land, not to mention a liberal sprinkling of charity shops about the place. And if you’re too lazy to do that, Freecycle a bag of clothes and someone else will come and collect them from you.

On average, British consumers use 290 plastic bags a year or 4 bags every 5 days, totalling at least 17.5 billion bags per year in total.
Stop using plastic bags guys! They contribute to our dependence on foreign oil and their production produces greenhouse gases, contributing to global warming. What’s more, there are 46,000 pieces of plastic litter floating in every square mile of ocean and more than a million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die every year from eating or getting entangled in plastic. Get yourself a handful of reusable bags and use them!

2005 recycling rates around the world had the United States at 32%, Britain at 27%, while Austria and the Netherlands were in the 60% range.
Yes, we’re getting better at this, but it’s no time to be complacent. A great way to reduce waste is to choose products without packaging, if that’s not possible then always go with the recyclable option. Set yourself a personal challenge and reduce what you send to landfill.

Since 1996, the United Kingdom has increased its CO2 emissions by about 4.6 million tonnes per year.
It’s possible to reduce your carbon footprint dramatically. Don’t let our planet and our children down, do what you can and do it now!

England’s seven cricket test match grounds used over 25 million kWh in 2006, producing about 8,000 tonnes of CO2 in the process.
If you are a sports supporter, it’s time to let the powers that be know that you want your team to be powered by renewables. And if you’re a football supporter, how about mentioning that you’d buy even more of their strip if it was made available in Fairtrade organic cotton.

*All statistics in this post were lifted from the wonderful EnviroStats! site.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Minh October 8, 2007 at 6:10 pm

Thanks for the references in your article which taught me more about the topics you referenced as well. Great blog and keep up the great work!


Rob October 9, 2007 at 12:43 pm

This is a great post which truly highlights how wasteful we are are a nation.


Hayley Jones October 9, 2007 at 1:58 pm

Great article with interesting, thought-provoking info. Will link to it from our blog. Thanks


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