Global Recycling Day: How To Recycle Effectively

Every year, the Earth yields billions of tons of natural resources and at some point, in the not too distant future, it will run out.

That’s why we must think again about what we throw away – seeing not waste, but opportunity.

The last decade has been the hottest on record, and we are now facing a climate emergency of unparalleled proportions. If we don’t make significant and rapid changes, we will see continued rising global temperatures, the melting of icecaps, continents on fire and rapid deforestation.

This directly affects humanity with increased poverty, immigration from displaced communities, job losses, waste mountains and natural habitats disappearing. We have the power to make lasting changes to combat this, and with recycling being recognised in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030, we are already seeing many individuals, governments and organisations taking direct action to support the global green agenda.

Recycling is a key part of the circular economy, helping to protect our natural resources. Each year the ‘Seventh Resource’ (recyclables) saves over 700 million tonnes in CO2 emissions and this is projected to increase to 1 billion tons by 2030. There is no doubt recycling is on the front line in the war to save the future of our planet and humanity.

Here are some tips on how to recycle effectively:

  1. Recycle plastic bags separately: Plastic bags slow down the automated recycling process. This is because human sorters have to individually open them up and then dispose of the bags, thus making the process more difficult.
  2. Compress bottles and put the lid back on: One of the most helpful ways to recycle bottles is to squash the air out, and then place the lid back on. This way there is neither water nor air inside.
  3. Keep cardboard and your other recyclables clean: While cardboard is recyclable, grease can damage the cardboard and render it impossible to recycle. This means you also need to avoid placing foods, liquids and animal wastes in your recycling bin as it can contaminate the rest of the recyclable materials.
  4. Rinse out or Clean items: Do a quick clean to make sure there is no food left in containers before you put them in the bin. This is really important if you only use one bin because food items or liquids could ruin paper. Save food for composting in your garden.

Posted in: sustainability