Join us in celebrating global recycling day today with these useful recycling tips.
Today is Global Recycling Day, an initiative designed to recognise the importance of recycling and the benefits it has for our planet.
Now in its fourth year, Global Recycling Day was created in 2018 and aims to raise awareness of the necessity of recycling to aid against global warming and climate change. The Global Recycling Foundation – which sponsors Global Recycling Day – has named recycling the world’s ‘Seventh Resource’ as part of its circular economy. This invaluable resource has been found to save over 700 million tonnes in Co2 emissions each year – and is projected to rise to 1 billion by 2030.
So how can you start recycling effectively from home? We’ve put together some helpful tips and info to help you become a #RecyclingHero.
Get acquainted with your council’s system
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome when first thinking about recycling can simply be a lack of information and knowledge. Different councils across the UK have different approaches to recycling and different guidelines to follow. Luckily, you can dispel any confusion quickly by using this handy tool from Recycle Now to find information on your local policy and recycling facilities.
Have a system of your own
Now that you know what to do with your waste come collection day – make sure you have a system in place at home. Keep all of your recycling waste in separate boxes, bins, or bags, and be sure to flatten all cardboard so that it can fit into whatever receptacle you choose more easily.
Know what you can and can’t recycle
There are some items that you might not be sure of whether or not you can recycle. For example, you can recycle some types of plastics – like shampoo or mouthwash bottles – but not others. As a rule of thumb, most councils should accept different types of plastic, and the majority of items will include recycling information on the label. However, if you’re still unsure of whether or not to recycle something, it’s better not to. Especially if your council operates a system of commingled recycling – in which everyone’s recycling gets processed together – as one item can spoil a whole batch, meaning it ends up in landfill.
You can recycle:
- Plastic: Bottles and food containers
- Paper: Newspaper, envelopes, cards (without additions like glitter and beads etc.), wrapping paper
- Cardboard: Loo rolls, boxes, drinks cartons
- Metals: Tin cans, aerosol cans, tin foil
Make the necessary preparations for some items
A lot of the plastic and other items that you’ll likely end up recycling will be food packaging. Plastic, glass, and aluminium food containers can all be recycled – but will need rinsing beforehand to get rid of excess food waste. This makes them less likely to become contaminated and ruin a batch and makes them easier to recycle.
When recycling items like jars and bottles, make sure you leave the lids on. This might seem counterintuitive, as lids can be made from different materials as the main body. However, removing the lid may mean it is lost during the filtering process at the recycling plant. Leaving the lid on means that it can be manually removed and properly sorted by an employee – ensuring it is recycled as you intended. It also has the added benefit of keeping the jar etc. sealed so other items don’t get trapped inside of it.
With a lot of items – you may find that the recycling instructions include directions to fatten them. This can have different reasons for different items. Primarily, it makes everything smaller and easier to transport to the recycling facility, saving fuel, money and trips – which is better for both the taxpayer and the environment. But it can also have benefits during processing, as it also stops items like bottles and cans from rolling off the conveyer!
Avoid black plastic
Black plastics are very common: approximately 1.3 black plastic trays are used in ready meal packaging alone in the UK every year, and can technically be recycled. The problem is, the black carbon pigment can’t be picked up by the laser technology used in the sorting process at recycling plants. This means that black plastic is never actually recycled, and is always sent to landfills, or incinerated. Organisations like Greenpeace UK have crunched the numbers, and say that it would be more cost-effective for a ban on ‘problem plastics’ like black plastic altogether. So, where you can, it’s better to opt for the recyclable clear plastic and boycott black plastics entirely.
Become a #RecyclingHero today by using these tips to start taking better care of our planet for Global Recycling Day. And for further assistance on the upkeep and care of your home – including help sorting and emptying your bins – get in touch with us.