Global Recycling Day is a day dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of recycling and its impact on the environment. Recycling is about reducing the need for raw materials and energy and preventing pollution. This also conserves natural resources, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and creates jobs in the recycling industry.
If we reduce the need to extract raw materials we can have a significant impact on the environment. One way to do this is by recycling, for example recycling just one ton of paper saves 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, and 3 cubic yards of landfill space! By recycling, we can reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, which then reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions (which contribute to climate change)
All this recycling creates jobs and can boost local economies! From collection and processing to manufacturing and distribution, this industry employs millions of people worldwide!
Individuals, businesses and governments need to work together to promote sustainable waste management practices. By implementing policies and infrastructure governments can inspire businesses to reduce their waste and use environmentally friendly products meaning individuals can then easily reduce there waste by using reusable products and can recycle materials more easily.
Global Recycling Day is a reminder that recycling is an essential part of creating a sustainable future. So, let’s all do our part and make recycling a part of our daily lives!
Here we have seven tips to help you recycle:
No bags. Seriously, no bags!
Plastic bags dissolve into potentially harmful microplastics, but before that they are hazardous to small animals that may become entangled, hurt and killed. So remember to bring your reusable ones to the shop! Keep spares in your car or bag for those oops I forgot moments! 🛍️
Small thing, big problem
Anything smaller than a credit card, things such as straws, bottle caps, coffee pods, plastic cutlery, and a thousand and one other tiny things that fill our daily lives can’t be recycled on their own. These objects are too small for sorting and can jam the recycling equipment, so make sure you ball them together so they can be recycled!
Clean Empty and Dry
Food waste contaminates whole loads of recyclable material, rendering them useless and fast-tracking them to landfill. But just how clean? The recyclable material should be clean enough to use again.
Combined materials are trash!
Recycling only works when like materials are together. Unfortunately items like plastic-coated coffee cups, laminated paper, paper-bubble wrap envelopes from the mail and plastic-metallic crisp packets can’t be separated by most recycling centres.
Solution: Try to avoid buying non-recyclable materials that can’t be separated: take your own cup to the coffee shop🥤
Know your plastics!
This is a big one, and it will depend on your area!
Not all plastics are the same. Rigid plastics are more often accepted, but sometimes, such as in Liverpool, only plastic drinks bottles will be accepted. This is because the PET plastic used for bottles is the most recyclable kind of plastic, but even then, sometimes the level of the plastic can deteriorate.
When it comes to recycling, one of the worst things you can do is wish-cycle. That’s when we optimistically put non-recyclable objects in the recycling bin. When we do this, we contaminate whole loads of otherwise recyclable materials.
A lot of people wish that this material can be recycled, and it seems like it’s made from the materials that could be recycled, but sometimes it’s not.
Local Authorities may have thresholds to meet when they send their recyclables to third-party waste management companies. If there’s too much waste mixed into the recycling load — that entire load could end up in a landfill.
Here at reclaiming reds we care about recycling as wildlife can
- Get caught in plastic can holders and plastic bags
- Get injured on broken glass or even trapped in jars and cans
- Litter can damage the nest and homes of animals
Warning, images below are of a red squirrel caught in litter
Items that may seem harmless can become dangerous when not disposed of appropriately but at the end of the day, we can’t know everything! There’s a bunch of stuff we accumulate over our lives — batteries, electronics, paint cans, toys, clothing, wood — and they might require taking to different places and may have special instructions for recycling.
Teach yourself, and keep up the good work! ♻
And stick with it, you are making a difference!