journal

May 13, 2016 EDITOR

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Why recycling is a last resort

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Why recycling is a last resort

May 17th is the International Day for Recycling. It’s an important day to be environmentally aware and recall the strategy of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

 

It’s amazing that some people still can’t be bothered to recycle or don’t believe it’s worth doing. It’s also ridiculous that we produce so much that can’t be recycled, or that plastic bags are still even made at all! Forget 5p/5c a bag, why can’t we just stop making them?

 

Recycling, as in the vast amounts of plastic, paper and other material that gets shipped to recycling plants has come under intense scrutiny over the last few years, due to the amount of energy it takes to recycle.  Yes, there are downsides, but surely it’s better to recycle than to simply shove it all in landfill or dump it out in the ocean somewhere?

 

Reduce, reuse and recycle

Ultimately we should be looking for ways to create less recycling in the first place – by reducing the amount of plastic and other solid materials we buy and consume; and by re-using as much as we can to avoid sending truck loads of recycling off to expensive plants every fortnight. So recycling comes last.

 

Easy Ways to Reduce the amount of solid you produce

:
◦ Say no to plastic packaging: Buy loose fruit and vegetables
◦ Get meat from the counter, not the pre-packed shelves
◦ Bulk buy pastas, grains, cereals and any other consumables you can
◦ Buy large bottles of juice instead of cartons and small packs – or juice your own!
◦ Use packaging-free lunchboxes and reusable drinks containers – say no to drinks pouches
◦ Use glass over plastic – you can re-use glass jars and bottles for all sorts of other things.
◦ Compost as much as you can

 

    Ideas for Reuse: 

    ◦ Non-recyclable plastic can be shredded to make cushion fillers.
    ◦ Plastic bags can be woven into colourful shopping bags and even the cushion covers themselves – great for outdoors.
    ◦ Plastic pots are great for growing seeds and using as plant pots.
    ◦ Plastic bottles are great containers for all sorts of things around the home.

     

      To recycle or not to recycle? That is the question! 

      There’s so much that can be recycled, but sadly a lot that can’t. If in doubt, check the bottom of the packaging label.  Here are some things that can’t be recycled:


      ◦ Plastic or wax-lined or coated cartons. Don’t recycle soiled cardboard/paper food containers, e.g. pizza boxes
      ◦ Plastic bags
      ◦ Plastic trays and meat containers
      ◦ Random bits of plastic, plastic film, bubble wrap etc
      ◦ Polystyrene/Styrofoam
      ◦ Foil – containers and wrap
      ◦ Paper tissues, serviettes and kitchen roll

       

        So first, try not to use or buy products in packaging that can’t be recycled. Next, try to think of inventive ways to reuse recyclable and non-recyclable waste.  If you have to recycle, do it responsibly and don’t forget to make sure you rinse tubs, jars, bottles and any plastic containers for cosmetics and skincare before you pop them in the recycling bin.

         

        We can all make a massive difference to world waste, and the less we produce, the better it will be for everyone.

         

        ********* Versión en español 

         

        Reduce, Reúsa y Recicla: Deja el Reciclaje Como Último Recurso

        Mayo 17 es el Día Internacional del Reciclaje, un día importante para ser conscientes del medio ambiente y recordar la estrategia de reducir, reusar y reciclar.

         

        Es sorprendente que algunas personas todavía no se molesten en reciclar o no creen que vale la pena hacerlo. También es ridículo que produzcamos tantos productos que no pueden ser reciclados, o ¡incluso que se sigan produciendo bolsas de plástico! ¿por qué no podemos simplemente dejar de fabricarlas? El reciclaje, como las grandes cantidades de plástico, papel y otros materiales que se envían a las plantas de reciclaje ha sido objeto de un intenso escrutinio en los últimos años, debido a la cantidad de energía que se necesita para reciclar. Sí, hay desventajas, pero sin duda es mejor reciclar que simplemente tirar todo en el vertedero de basura, o en el océano.

         

        Reduce, Reúsa y Recicla

        Debemos buscar la manera de no poner al reciclaje como primer opción - al reducir la cantidad de plástico y otros materiales sólidos que compramos y consumimos; y reutilizando todo lo que puedas para evitar el envío de cargas de camiones de reciclaje a las costosas plantas de reciclado cada quince días. ¡Así el reciclaje queda al final!

         

        Maneras Simples de Reducir la Cantidad de Basura que Producimos

         

        ◦ Di no a los envases de plástico: compra frutas y verduras sueltas.
        ◦ Compra la carne en el mostrador, no en los estantes de carne empacada.
        ◦ Compra a granel las pastas, granos, cereales y otros materiales consumibles que puedas.
        ◦ Compra botellas grandes de jugo en lugar de cartones y empaques pequeños, ¡o haz tu propio jugo!
        ◦ Usa loncheras y envases de bebidas reutilizables – di no a las bebidas empacadas.
        ◦ Prefiere usar vidrio al plástico– puedes volver a utilizar los tarros de cristal y botellas de vidrio para otros usos.
        ◦ Haz toda la composta que puedas.

         

          Maneras de Reutilizar

          ◦ El plástico no reciclable se puede utilizar como relleno para cojines.
          ◦ Las bolsas de plástico se pueden tejer para hacer bolsas coloridas o incluso para hacer las fundas de los cojines, ideales para usar en exterior.
          ◦ Las tinas de plástico son buenas para cultivar semillas o para utilizar como macetas.
          ◦ Los botes de plástico son buenos contenedores para todo tipo de usos en el hogar.

           

            Reciclar o no Reciclar, ¡Esa es la Cuestión!

            Existen muchos materiales que pueden reciclarse, pero lamentablemente hay muchos que no. Si tienes duda, revisa la etiqueta del producto. Aquí te diremos algunas cosas que no se pueden reciclar:


            ◦ Plástico o cartones forrados de cera.
            ◦ No recicles recipientes de cartón o papel sucios, por ejemplo, las cajas de pizza.
            ◦ Bolsas de plástico.
            ◦ Bandejas de plástico y contenedores de carne.
            ◦ Trozos de plástico, películas plástico, burbuja, envolturas plásticas, etc.
            ◦ Espuma de polietileno.
            ◦ Papel de envoltura y envases.
            ◦ Pañuelos de papel, servilletas y rollos de cocina.

             

              Así que, en primer lugar, trata de no usar o comprar productos en envases que no pueden ser reciclados. Mejor, trata de pensar en formas innovadoras de reutilizar los residuos reciclables y no reciclables. Si tienes que reciclar, hazlo de manera responsable y no olvides asegurarte de enjuagar los tubos, jarros, botellas y envases de plástico de los productos cosméticos y de cuidado de la piel antes de que los pongas en la bandeja de reciclaje.

               

              Todos podemos hacer una enorme diferencia en los residuos del mundo, ¡mientras menos produzcamos, mejor será para todos!

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