Recycling one plastic bottle can save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for six hours – so recycling plastic reduces the need to burn fossil fuels and contribute to global warming. Plastic that is thrown in the garbage either ends up in a landfill – plastic bottles account for 11% of the space taken up by landfills – or else it is incinerated, releasing many harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. Finally, plastic “litter” that escapes from landfills is very harmful to many kinds of wildlife; the huge amounts of plastic that end up in the oceans end up killing many fish, birds, and sea turtles that mistake plastic items for food and swallow them. These are just a few of the harmful effects of plastic that can be prevented by recycling.
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