There is a growing demand for individual responsibility in protecting the earth. No surprise you are doing your bit, such as recycling, buying eco-friendly products, using renewable energy and much more. Although we are doing our part, especially with recycling, there are facts that we are not aware of about the products that we recycle. And this is why we will be sharing some facts about recycling that you should know. This knowledge will help you understand the process, and make impactful decisions.
For this article, we want to enlighten you on some facts about recycling that you should know and how this will help you manage your recycling activities effectively for you and the environment.
Here are some details about recycling products that you should know for effectively protecting our environment:
We cannot recycle all plastic
While you go around piling plastic in your home in the recycle bin, note that now all plastic is recyclable. However, when we take this trash to the recycler, you should know that certain factors will determine if companies will recycle all the plastic products. Also, note that some plastic materials such as plastic papers, straws and coffee cups are not recyclable.
Companies determine the profitability of recycling certain products before they undertake it. You should note that they will consider the resources it will take to recycle. For example, recycling a coffee cup is more expensive than getting a new one. Thus the company will likely opt for the cost-effective approach. Also, factories cannot easily recycle plastic bags, therefore recycling plastic bags will be a waste of time and energy.
Now, with the knowledge that recycling companies cannot recycle plastics such as coffee cups and plastic bags easily, you should decide to minimize their usage as much as possible. Plastic bags take over 1000 years to decompose, making it easier for you to make a better decision on how to use these materials. For one, you should reduce the frequency of buying plastic bags but using the ones you have with you.
What you should know about recycling dirty plastics
You would understand that companies spend money on recycling products, and they always look for a cost-effective approach to recycling or production. However, you can make this decision easier for them – recycle the plastic rather than buy a new one. One way you can achieve that is to clean your plastic before you dispose of it in the recycle bin.
Companies using these products have health standards and other criteria to meet with their product. Compared with high-grade new products, food residue and other dirt on plastics make it difficult for these companies to use them. In most cases, dirty plastics are not recycled and they are disposed of outrightly.
You can make your plastic more suitable for recycling by cleaning them after each use and before you dispose of them. As a result, it becomes healthier and meets other standards when clean.
Understand that the quality of plastic degrades with time
Naturally, the things we use will suffer wear and lose their original quality. And the same applies to plastics, especially as we recycle them over and over again. Experts say after 2 to 3 cycles of recycling, the quality of the plastic would have degraded to a stage where we cannot reuse it.
Thus, it would be best to be mindful that the plastic you use will eventually get back to the earth. And they may have health effects to continue using them after losing quality. In this sense, there will continue to produce plastic, and recycling can only slow down the degradation of the environment.
Recycling cardboard paper saves more energy
Cardboard is one of the most accessible materials to recycle. It takes just 75% of the energy needed to recycle cardboard than production. Thus, we reduce our carbon footprint when we recycle our cardboard, and unlike plastic bags, they are much easier to recycle and use.
Thus the next time you want to package goods, ensure you use cardboard and place them correctly in the recycle bin. It’s best if you fold them neatly so that you can have room for more, and they should be in good order when delivered for recycling. So based on this fact, we recommend that you use cardboard for your storage packages and store them properly after each use.
We can recycle glass indefinitely
Glass is fragile and should be disposed of with proper care to prevent injuries and damage. However, we can describe glass as one of the best recycling materials, for it does not wear and can be recycled indefinitely. So please, you can afford not to recycle your glass material, for this material alone can cut water pollution by 50%. However, since glasses are not degradable, disposing of them indiscriminately will have long-term adverse effects on the environment; thus, you must recycle them.
The above facts can enable us to make wiser decisions on the materials to use for easy recycling to protect the environment. For example, maybe we should use more glass cups than plastic ones, for you can recycle them indefinitely. Also, the fact that we can recycle materials through up to 3 cycles or indefinitely, like in the case of glass, provides more job opportunities than using landfills for trash disposal.
Recommended books for further reading:
- Minimal: How to simplify your life and live sustainably
- Simply Clean: The Proven Method for Keeping Your Home Organized, Clean, and Beautiful in Just 10 Minutes a Day.
- Baking Soda Power! Frugal, Natural, and Health Secrets of Baking
- Sustainable Home: Practical projects, tips, and advice for maintaining a more eco-friendly
- The Organically Clean Home: 150 Everyday Organic Cleaning Products You Can Make Yourself–The Natural, Chemical-Free Way