Top Five Fun Facts: August

Eric DesRoberts continues his monthly series of facts and tidbits he’s uncovered during his research to better understand products and packaging. You can also check out his past Fun Facts here.

1. The Federal Railroad Administration reports that there were nearly 1,500 train derailments in all of 2011. From January to April of this year, there were 389 derailments, which is an improvement when compared to more than 500 during the same period last year.

2. 3.6 million pounds of retired US currency gets shredded annually. Ford is looking for ways to use this material to reinforce plastics used for interior trim in their automobiles. This will help offset some of the estimated 300 pounds of plastic used in the average car.

3. Over 10 million tons of waste is generated every year by the 78 million dogs living in the US. Dog waste carries parasites that can be transmitted directly to humans. Two or three days worth of droppings from just 100 or so of these canines can contribute enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay and all watershed areas within a 20 mile radius of the waste.

4. Facebook generated 285,000 metric tons of GHG emissions in 2011. The same impacts could be realized from all Facebook users consuming about 3 bananas over the course of the year.

5. In 2011, the US Postal Service processed 167.9 billion pieces of mail, racking up 1.2 billion miles driven by letter carriers and truck drivers. This equates to about 48,000 trips around the world or 2,500 round trips to the moon.

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