How do I recycle?
- Published on Monday, 12 September 2016 15:23
Most people agree that recycling is important and must be done in their homes and at work, having already accepted that pollution and climate change rank among some of the serious challenges facing our planet. “Most of us are open to the idea of doing something positive about it but simply don’t know where to start,” says Donna Noble, Communications Manager of Mpact Recycling.
We will each produce more than 600 times our own weight in rubbish in our lifetimes*, which is enough to fill a good few trucks, and collectively overcrowd our planet even further. By recycling regularly, we will reduce the need to landfill and incinerate recyclables. Thus, cutting down on pollution; making our environment more attractive and clean; as well as helping to create jobs.
A lot of the packaging that we use in our daily lives can be recycled. They are generally divided into: paper, plastic beverage or PET bottles; cans; glass bottles; and liquid packaging cartons. Mpact Recycling is particularly involved in the collection and recycling of paper products, cartons (for example milk and juice cartons) and PET (plastic) bottles, and urges the general public to recycle these forms of packaging.
“Paper can be recycled multiple times and for every tonne of paper recycled, three cubic metres of landfill space is saved,” adds Noble.
In addition to environmental benefits, according to PRASA (Paper Recycling Association of SA), paper recycling alone in South Africa has created almost 100,000 jobs and economic empowerment opportunities.
“As you become more aware of recycling, it becomes easier to do,” continues Noble. “Simply begin by: separating your recyclables at home into separate designated containers (paper, plastic, glass, cans); or support your local school or community Ronnie bin with all paper recyclables and cartons (such as milk and juice cartons). Alternatively, you can also support your local buy-back centre with all paper and plastic recyclables; or you can make use of your local shopping centre’s collection bins for cans and glass recyclables.”
Noble further offers the following tips for people wanting to recycle:
- Start seeing rubbish itself as a resource: A lot of rubbish that cannot be reused can be recycled.
- Get involved: Many households in South Africa are now part of a municipal or similar recycling collection scheme. Do your bit by leaving your recycling bags on the kerbside for easy collection.
- Know what can be recycled: paper, cartons, cans, and most plastics like PET (plastic) bottles. Refer to www.mpacyrecycling.co.za for details of these recyclable items.
- Know what cannot be recycled: and don’t put these in for recycling because they could potentially contaminate the recyclables.
- Find out what recycling programmes or centres exist in your area, whether kerbside collection or your nearest Ronnie banks.
Support your local school or church with their recycling efforts where they use recycling to raise funds. Get your neighbours to do the same. Visit www.mpactrecycling.co.za to find your local programme. If you are in an outlying area where kerbside collections don’t take place, contact us for your nearest country dealer or to find out where your nearest Buy-Back Centre is for you to take your recyclables to.
* Based on statistics published by the Centre for Sustainability & Commerce at Duke University (US) that each person produces two kilograms of rubbish per day – 45% more than in 1960.