Currently, Latin America is promoting the "Recycle Right" movement, which consists of having clean and uncontaminated recycling. Because it is important? Well, the goal of recycling is to create new products from old materials, if that recycled material is contaminated by food or other materials, no one will buy it and instead of being recycled into new products, it will end up in the landfill... it's not it's good.
In Peru, it is said that up to 25% of the garbage we send to landfill could be recycled, so with the help of our allies, we are sharing this handy list of dos and don'ts so we can all put our grain of sand.
- Don't recycle receipts ; They are usually made of thermal paper and cannot be recycled. Ask that they give you no receipt or that they give you an electronic receipt.
- Clear up your dirty recycling ; not only will it keep your recycling bin clean, but it also means it will actually get recycled. Dirty containers can reduce the quality of recycled materials and are often rejected by recycling facilities.
- Please do not add soft plastics or plastic bags to your household recycling , most local facilities do not accept this. Soft plastics are those that can be squeezed in the hand. Make sure they are clean and dry and search the Internet for the nearest Recycling or Ecoins container. They are usually conveniently located in small shopping centers.
- Check what your collector can recycle. The recycling symbol that appears on the packaging means that it can be recycled, but it does not mean that your collector has the necessary infrastructure to recycle it. Search for "recycling" on your municipality's website and print out a list to stick on your bin as a reminder to yourself and the family.
- Don't add broken glass or ceramic to your home recycling bin ; try to find a local recycling facility, but most of the time it will have to go to the landfill.
- Try to avoid buying all plastic vel whenever you can . Although plastic is recyclable, the latest report from Australia indicates that of the 2.5 tons of plastic generated, 84% is sent directly to landfill.
- Don't confuse plastic foil with aluminum foil : try squeezing it, if it retracts it's probably plastic or a mixed material, if it stays squished it's metal. To make sure it gets recycled, roll it into a fist-sized ball before throwing it away for the machines at the recycling center to pick up.
- Keep your recycling loose, don't bag it or put it in cardboard boxes. This can cause the items inside the bag to end up in the wrong recycling stream.
- Don't try to recycle small items as they often get stuck in machines or contaminate other recycling streams – think plastic bottle caps go into the glass recycling stream. Generally, anything smaller than a credit card should not be placed in the yellow recycling bin.
- Add paper, cardboard, and pizza boxes to your recycling if they are clean, dry, and free of grease. If they are dirty or wet, consider adding them to your own compost.
- Do not add compostable or biodegradable products to your recycling bin. Check with your local authorities, but as a general rule you should deposit certified compostable products (with the seedling logo or AS 4736 code) in the FOGO bin and biodegradable products in the dumpster.
- Separate mixed materials; For example, if you buy the berries in plastic, separate the soft plastic top from the hard plastic base. The base can be added to your recycling and the lid can be added to your soft plastic pile for Recycling slots.
- Don't assume that takeaway coffee cups are recyclable, as they are often lined with plastic or a plant-based alternative, making them non-recyclable. Even the lids can be made from mixed materials, which means the entire cup will end up in the landfill. Next time, take your own mug and encourage your local coffee shop to discount whoever does. Reuse is always the best option.
- Try to avoid excess packaging as much as possible and shop at bulk food stores with your own reusable containers.
- Do not throw everything that cannot be recycled in the garbage container . Check for local facilities for things like junk, electronic waste, and hazardous materials like paint cans.
- Take your bottles, cans and some cartons to a Return and Recovery drop-off point near you, why not earn a little money while saving the planet? Or you can choose a local charity to donate to.
- Do not add paper towels or tissues to the recycling bin : they are too low quality to be recycled. You can add them to your compost bin.
We hope this list helps you to recycle more, and to recycle well, good luck!