The Myths of Recycling
Recycling is a word that most of us have heard, unless you’ve been hidden under a rock for the last 100 years; believe it or not, recycling was first introduced at some point in the early 1900s. Despite this, it’s only recently that we have decided to take it seriously!
After BBC’s Blue Planet 2 aired in early 2018, it wasn’t just the mesmeric narration of David Attenborough that pricked up our ears, it was also the effect plastics are having on our oceans and since then has gained a lot of negative media attention.
So, why all the commotion in the ocean?
The recycling of post commercial, industrial and agricultural product is well established in the UK; however collection of general recycling from consumers is still developing with only 19% of local councils collecting kerbside. There is pressure on the UK to catch up and invest in new technology to enable the recycling of more mixed, printed and used films from household sources.
What do the super fun different terms actually mean?
Recyclable products can be diverted from the waste stream and that can be collected, processed and returned to use.
Degradable is to break down to a specific extent within a given time frame.
Example: when the molecular structure of a product changes, it will eventually lead to disintegration of the material.
Oxo-Biodegradable Is degradation from oxidative and cell-mediated phenomena, either simultaneously or successively.
Biodegradable materials capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms into organic compounds or biomass.
The different recycling symbols
Single use plastics, or disposable plastics, are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These items are things like plastic bags, straws, water bottles, and the majority of food packaging. Single-use plastics are slowly being dumped by large companies. Starbucks and McDonalds are slowly trialling paper straws. This is just one of many steps in the right direction.
Are there benefits to plastic?
Despite all the media attention, plastic packaging is still able to offer various benefits:
- It’s cost effective, hence why large food companies choose to use it.
- It’s strong, durable and lightweight.
- Plastic gives a better shelf appeal to consumers.
- It promotes and secures your products.
- Plastic seals the taste of food based products and protects against contamination and spoilage which inevitably extends the product shelf-life.
- It’s a fantastic oxygen and moisture barrier.
Recycling rates in Europe
Much of the waste we throw away can be recycled. Recycling benefits the environment by diverting waste away from landfills and by providing raw materials for new products. Recycling can also encourage innovation and create jobs. * https://www.eea.europa.eu/about-us/competitions/waste-smart-competition/recycling-rates-in-europe/image_view_fullscreen
Some of the benefits of recycling
- Recycling protects ecosystems and wildlife
- Recycling reduces the need to grow, harvest or extract new raw materials from the earth. That in turn reduces the harmful disruption and damage being done to the natural world. From David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II we can already understand how much plastic ends up in the oceans; it is a serious problem and causes havoc.
- Recycling reduces landfill waste
- Dumping rubbish in landfill is wasteful and causes a large amount of pollution; It’s a waste of good waste. Landfill pollutes soil and water by leaking noxious and toxic liquids over time; they also release greenhouse gases in to the atmosphere. Recycling reduces this!
- Recycling is cheaper than waste collection and disposal.
- It is 6 times cheaper to dispose of recycled waste than general refuse. The more you recycle, the less you put in the bin, which means more money saved! This is great for households, businesses and local public services!
- Recycling creates jobs
- At least 50,000 new UK jobs could be created by 2025 if we can reach the target of recycling 70% of our waste. It’s ambitious but very achievable.
Your country needs you to step up and take recycling seriously so that we can start pushing for a better and less wasteful future…
In the Premier Print & Promotions office, we’ve made some changes of our own; we turn everything off at night to save on electricity, we have introduced dedicated recycling bins and reuse boxes and containers where we can. You can also make a difference, you may feel like one person won’t make a huge impact, but it’s about the influence we have on each other, if you do right, others will follow. So lets take the necessary steps to make a change and look after our planet.
For more information on eco and recyclable products, get in contact with our expert sales team today!
01376 318666 | firstname.lastname@example.org | premierpandp.com
#Recycle #SaveOurPlanet #LetsDoTheRightThing