This week should of been marking recycling week by WRAP UK. However, with the unfortunate passing of HM the Queen they are current revising a new date. Therefore we have rescheduled our week long content but thought there is never a bad time to share tips of recycling! Which is why we have continued on with our top 10 tips to recycle better.
Why Recycling Is So Important
Everyone always harps on about how good recycling is. BUT why?
In short the main reason that we need to recycle is to keep items out of landfills. In previous years, way before the ‘modern era’ recycling was common in all households. People kept jars and repurposed their rubbish into treasure. We were a culture of fixing before replacing. The main difference being that we weren’t able to access things as easily as we can now. In our ‘modern era’ the average UK household discards 31 million tonnes of rubbish! Most of this rubbish goes to landfills, where they compact it and bury it. As this waste grows so will the pressure on our landfills, our resources and the environment.
In a broad sense the reason that recycling is so important is that by using products to their fullest potential. By using a recycled material to create a new product we are conserving natural resources and energy. By all of us making a conscious effort to recycle we can help to save our planet, by reducing air and water pollution, reduce greenhouse gases, and keep forested land clear.
What We Can Do
Now we have a brief idea why recycling is important lets delve into what we can do. The truth is that recycling can be confusing, whilst is why we don’t want to over complicate it. Before following any of our tips you need to check the guidelines of you city, as recycling is a regional thing, meaning each city has different rules.
10 Tips To Recycle Better
Let’s get into the good stuff!
1. Buy Recycled Paper
Not only that make sure that if your printer can that you are printing on both sides!
2. Use Reusable Bags
The initiative to make supermarkets charge for plastic bags was to encourage customers to use bags for life or their own bags. Not only this but we need to make sure we don’t put our rubbish in single use plastic bags!
3. No Food Residue
Make sure that you are cleaning all your products from food because if you don’t they are no recyclable, tiny specks are okay but oil soaked cardboard isn’t. This is because the oil from the pizza box will not mix with the water based slurry at the recycling banks.
4. Compress Your Items
Make your space go further. Where possible flatten your items, it gives you more space in the bin and takes away the pressure of constantly taking the bins out.
5. Donate or Sell First
When you are doing a big clear out then think first, is this preloved item still in good nick? If so could it have another life with someone else either for free or a small amount of cash. If the answer is yes then don’t bin it, join in to our circular economy, buying and selling on Preloved, or giving it away on Freeloved.
6. No Black Plastic
This is a weird one we know, but black plastic doesn’t reflect light which means it’s near impossible for the recycling factories to scan them. In addition to this they aren’t a common plastic colour meaning that the recycling companies aren’t going to change for them just yet as it is not financially viable.
7. Compost Your Leftovers
Knowing that you can’t put leftovers or rotten food in your recycling it’s time to loo at alternative options such as composting. If you have the space in your garden for one then it can be useful or an added source of income to sell to gardeners. If you don’t have the space to compost check out a compost service in your area.
8. Glass Bottle Only!
When you recycle glass you can only put in CLEAN glass bottles! Broken glass, window glass, drinking glass or mirrors can’t be recycled. This is because these items have a higher melting temperature than glass bottles or ‘regular glass’.
9. Keep Your Cardboard Dry
If your cardboard gets wet then it can get mouldy and contaminate the rest of your items making it unrecyclable.
10. Skip Out Of The Mixed Materials
Items like plastic coated coffee cups or laminated paper can not be separated and therefore can’t be recycled! So be sure to think about what can and can not be separated or if they don’t go in the same recycling bin.