Recycling has become a sort of buzzword, but what does it really mean to recycle, or to become a recycler – a truly effective one? Sure, you are separating your waste and recycling your paper, glass and plastic. You carry your reusable straw everywhere and no-one will ever catch you littering. But are you ticking all the boxes when it comes to the complete lifestyle change that is required in order to become a great recycling citizen?
The Global Recycling Foundation has supplied seven promises – recycling guidelines that children, schools and grown-ups can follow in order to become the best recyclers they can possibly be. They are:
1. Cut down on plastic. Avoid all single-use plastics. Use reusable bottles, containers, straws, cups and shopping bags. If you cannot reuse plastic, recycle it.
2. Spread the recycling love. Help friends and family by showing them ways to recycle – and assist them in following proper recycling procedures, such as washing containers before taking it to collection points.
3. Repair and reuse. Ask yourself whether items like toys, clothes and appliances can be fixed before simply buying new ones. The environment will love you for it!
4. Clean and dry items before recycling. Rinse containers and allow them to dry before placing them in the recycling bin. A bit more effort, yes – but our planet is worth it.
5. Educate yourself about recycling. The research and information available about recycling is constantly increasing – go online and educate yourself as much as possible – then go out and spread the word!
6. Remember the other materials. Recycling is about so much more than just plastic and metal. Educate yourself about the safe disposal of other recyclable materials, such as electronic items, batteries, light bulbs and paper.
7. Recycle packaging. It is important to recycle packaging foam and plastics too – they are a leading contributor to waste in the environment.
Becoming a great recycler asks you to really think about the mindshift and complete lifestyle change that doing so requires. One of the most important things you can do is to set a positive example, as well as educating the younger generation on the threat that pollution poses to our planet and the importance of recycling.
As a great recycler, you’ll always want to keep the Three Rs in mind: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
Some great reasons to recycle include:
- Recycling paper saves trees, energy and water – resources that our planet desperately needs to conserve.
- Metal cans are 100% recyclable. Recycling them cuts down on the need to mine new iron ore and saves the energy used to mine and process raw materials.
- Every ton of glass recycled saves 1.2 tons of raw materials. Glass is 100% recyclable, but does not biodegrade.
- A ton of recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate plastic) containers saves 7.4 cubic metres of landfill space.
It is also extremely important that producers and recyclers work together to find solutions to the pollution crisis staring the world in the face. Tackling the issue of global pollution asks that governments, innovators, environmentalists, the public, commerce industries, activists and NGOs all join hands in order to come up with effective solutions for solving the global pollution crisis.
Look after our planet and the creatures that inhabit it too. We share ways to recycle and protect the environment through sustainable practices.
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