Habit Changes to Up Your Recycling Game
Nowadays, recycling is highly encouraged and its benefits are highly praised in society. Recycling bins are more commonly found, making us more aware of the options made easily available for us to recycle plastics, metals, paper, etc… So simple that it makes us feel like pros. But did you know that there are certain habits you could adopt to raise your recycling game even further? Let’s have a look at a few of these.
Whenever possible, Refuse (or Reuse) instead
Whilst recycling is admirable, the other Rs are probably even more so. One of the main problems with recycling is that so much of the items we toss into recycling bins don’t actually end up getting recycled. After removing items that are deemed non-recyclable and others that are determined to be too contaminated by food waste or other chemicals, less than ¾ of what’s “recycled” actually gets recycled. The rest ends up in landfills. This wouldn’t even be a problem if we refused that take-away coffee cup in the first place and reused our own cup instead.
Thoroughly wash out your recyclables
Items thrown in recycling bins that still have food waste (or any type of waste) in them will usually be rejected at the facilities and thrown into the landfill. So give your plastic bottles and tin cans a good rinse before tossing them to make sure that they have the highest chance of getting recycled.
Support the entire cycle
A great way of showing your support to this green way of living is not only to recycle all the recyclable trash you have, but to also purchase goods made out of recycled materials. The more demand these industries get, the more resources will be placed into developing them (over competing products that may not be as sustainable).
Remove bottle caps before recycling
There’s a higher chance that bottles with the cap still on may still contain liquid in them, affecting their weight and thereby preventing machines are the facilities from processing them properly and accurately. Even if it’s not rejected, processing a bottle with the cap still on may require significantly more energy than processing one without. This is mainly due to the air that gets trapped inside. So the simple act of unscrewing the bottle cap before recycling could save a lot of trouble later down the line!
Don’t recycle plastic bags
Plastic bags are a hassle to recycle. For example, at the facilities, they can get caught inside the system, jamming the machines and causing the entire process to be stopped. For this reason, and many others, plastic bags usually end up getting rejected and thrown into landfills (and may even end up in the ocean). So just try not to recycle plastic bags - just refuse them to begin with!
On top of this, it’s important not to toss other recyclables inside plastic bags as well. Due to the possibility of plastic bags containing harmful materials, workers at the recycling facilities are likely to reject bundles of recyclables held within these bags as soon as they spot them, without even opening the bag to check what’s inside. So if you’re throwing away perfectly good recyclables inside plastic bags, they’ll pretty much also end up wasted in the landfill. Don’t let that happen! Separate your recyclables.
Donate old clothes
Many people end up contributing to landfills by throwing away decently wearable clothes because they think these can’t be recycled. But you can donate these clothes to charity shops. For those that truly cannot be worn due to intense wear and tear, you could give it away at the textile collections organized by your local council.
Recycling should be a key part in your sustainable green life, so follow these steps today and become a recycling pro!