Recycling sounds pretty simple – you separate recyclable items and send them off to be recycled!
But the reality is not always so easy or as simple. Even if you do send your items to be recycled – are they are actually recyclable? And are they being properly recycled?
Let’s take a quick look at some facts about recycling that may surprise you.
- South Africa sends around 95 million tonnes of waste to its 826 landfill sites and less than 40% of the materials are recycled.
- South Africa produces 65 million tonnes of hazardous waste, of which only 6% is recycled.
- The average recycling rate for plastics in South Africa exceeds 43%, which is higher than the 31% figure for Europe.
Before you even start recycling it is important to understand what can be recycled – not all paper and plastic is created equal and not all of it can actually be recycled. You can start by learning the different plastic codes.
Recycling doesn’t necessarily mean sending items to a recycling plant. You can recycle items into something new.
- Tins make cool pen holders or pots for plants.
- Glass jars can be used for so many different things.
- 2l soda bottles can be used as eco-bricks.
- Egg cartons are great for seedlings.