Surprising Statistics About The Waste That Businesses Produce

January 13, 2023

crushed plastic bottles baled for industrial plastic recycling


It’s no secret that businesses produce a lot of waste. The EPA estimates that 75% of the American waste stream is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30% of it, and businesses produce about 25% of all the world’s waste every year. 

Here are a few more surprising statistics about business waste:

The average office worker produces about 2 pounds of paper waste per day.

Office and industrial workers waste a lot of paper products, like envelopes, and packaging. They also tend to print things out unnecessarily or make copies when they don’t need to. Many businesses also end up shredding a lot of documents for security purposes. This result is a vast amount of wasted paper that could be recycled.

The manufacturing industry produces about 1,800 pounds of waste for every person employed. 

The amount of recyclable waste produced by manufacturing companies is quite high. While we often think of households as the biggest producers of waste, businesses actually produce more waste than households do. 

This is because businesses produce large amounts of products and packaging, and they also generate a lot of paper waste from office work and manufacturing processes. While some businesses are starting to implement recycling programs, there is still a long way to go in terms of reducing the amount of waste that businesses produce.

Around 80% of retailers and grocers recycle cardboard

This is great news. Many industries are on the right track and have embraced recycling programs, but there is still much room for improvement. Many businesses are now learning that using equipment such as cardboard balers are up to 5 times more efficient at managing cardboard waste. 

Recycling plastic takes 88% less energy than making it from raw materials

Recycling plastic takes a lot less energy than making new plastic from raw materials. This is because recycling only requires melting down the plastic and molding it into a new shape, while making new plastic requires extracting petroleum from the ground and then going through a complicated process to turn it into plastic. 

Not only does recycling save energy, but it also reduces pollution and cuts down on the amount of waste that goes into landfills. Many businesses are now starting to recycle their plastic waste, and this is having a positive impact on the environment.

Only about 9% of plastic ever produced has been recycled.

While it’s encouraging that some businesses are recycling plastic, the sad reality is that only a tiny fraction of all the plastic ever produced has been recycled. This is a huge problem because making plastic from scratch uses a lot of energy, and it releases harmful pollutants into the environment. If we want our businesses to efficiently and responsibly handle this issue, we need to do a better job of recycling plastics. 

36 Billion aluminum cans are landfilled each year and not recycled

The Container Recycling Institute (CRI) estimates that the 36 billion aluminum cans landfilled last year had a scrap value of more than $600 million. That’s a lot of money that could have been saved if those cans had been recycled!

But it’s not just aluminum cans that businesses produce that end up in landfills . Cardboard boxes, plastics, aluminum cans, and paper are some of the largest recyclable wastes that can pile up on companies and cause problems. However, there are many sustainable ways to handle this waste such as having commercial recycling services like FV Recycling handle your recyclable waste properly. You can help the environment and save your businesses vast amounts of time and money by working with FV Recycling.

These statistics show that businesses produce a significant amount of waste every year. While some businesses are working to reduce their waste output, there is still a long way to go, FV Recycling is ready to partner with you to help you properly manage your industrial and business waste.