U.s. material use factsheet center for sustainable systems wd gaster


Raw materials are extracted, converted to engineered and commodity materials, and manufactured into products. After use, they are disposed of or returned to the economy through reuse, remanufacturing, or recycling. Sustainability in materials use has three components: 1) the relationship between the rate of resource consumption and the overall stock of resources; 2) the efficiency of resource use in providing essential gas and water llc services; and 3) the proportion of resources leaking from the economy and impacting the environment. The first two topics reflect the sustainability of resource supply, while the third affects the sustainability of ecosystems. The United States is a primary user of natural resources, including fossil fuels and materials. The increased use of renewable materials (e.g., agriculture, wood products, primary paper) and nonrenewable materials (e.g., nonrenewable a gas is a form of matter that organic, primary metals, industrial minerals, and construction materials) during the 20 th century is illustrated in the figure below.

Human health risks arise from emissions and residues over a material’s life cycle. In many cases, pollutant releases have been substantially reduced from historical levels, e.g., mercury released by gold mining, fugitive volatile organic compound emissions from paints, and lead electricity kwh usage calculator from the combustion of gasoline. 19 However, in 2016, more than 330,000 tons of lead and lead compounds were released; 90% came from metal mining, while primary metal production and electric utilities accounted for 5.3% and 0.1%, respectively. 15 New chemicals have been introduced that have been found to persist in the environment, bioaccumulate (move up the food chain b games car), and/or are toxic, e.g., phthalates that are widely used in consumer products to make plastics soft and flexible. 19

• Conserve materials: Follow the motto of “Reduce, Reuse, Remanufacture, and Recycle.” U.S. recycling and remanufacturing industries accounted for over 757 thousand jobs and more than $36 billion in revenue in 2007. 21 In 2015, 34.7% of municipal solid waste in the U.S. was recovered for recycling and composting, diverting more than 91 million tons of material from landfills and incinerators electricity youtube. 20

• Reduce material intensity: Technological advances can help reduce the raw material intensity of products while making them lighter and more durable. Aluminum beverage cans are 38% lighter today than they were three decades ago, allowing more electricity in the body causes cans to be produced from the same amount of aluminum. Additionally, beverage cans are made with an average of 70% recycled aluminum, representing a huge decrease in energy requirements and greenhouse gas tgask emissions compared to using virgin materials. 23

• Promote product stewardship: Appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks can help ensure product manufacturers’ responsibility for the environmentally conscious management of retired consumer goods. The European Union’s regulations on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) include a target of an 85% increase in proper WEEE collection and disposal by 2019. 24

• Encourage renewable material use: Increase the use of renewable materials within products and in packaging. Biobased materials such as polylactic acid (PLA), a biodegradable polymer derived from corn, can provide performance characteristics similar to petroleum-based plastics. Although manufacturing these renewable materials requires less energy and emits fewer greenhouse gases, the use of land and chemicals required to grow the feedstock may static electricity bill nye full episode have adverse environmental consequences. 25