We are living on this planet as if we have another one to go to. There is no plan B, there is only one Earth. The average person creates 525 kilograms of waste in a year. Think about how many people are part of your household, neighbourhood, city and the number you come up with will be mammoth. Most metals and plastics can take thousands of years to breakdown in a landfill; and not all of it ends up in a landfill. There is currently an island of plastic in the Pacific Ocean known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch which is the size of Texas. If we carry on like this by 2150 the Earth will be covered in garbage.
The City of Johannesburg Council is trailblazing in South Africa and taking action. It has been announced that from 1 July 2018 it will be mandatory for all households in the metropolitan area to recycle. It’s only a matter of time until the other metropolitans join in so we’d better wrap our heads around how to recycle. One would think that it’s as easy as dividing our waste into the five categories: organic, paper, glass, metal and plastic. But it’s not that simple, some plastics are recyclable and others aren’t; so how do you decide which you can recycle and which you can’t?
Uncoding Plastic Recycling Symbols –
We’ve done some digging to figure out what plastics are “curb side recyclable”. There are five plastics, namely: PETE (food and drink bottles, jars and prepared food trays), HDPE (shampoo bottles, yogurt tubs, milk jugs, grocery bags), LDPE (dry cleaning bags, frozen food bags, squeezable bottles), PP (Syrup bottles, bottle caps, straws, dishware, straws, packing tape) and Other or O (plastic lumber, headlight lenses, gas containers, safety glasses).
Apart from recycling you can reduce the amount of waste you consume. Try to avoid the big four: plastic bags, bottled water, disposable coffee cups and straws. Next time you go out for your monthly shop bring your own bags and let the symbols on the plastic bottles help you make an informed decision. The plastic we use to make labels at Ren-Flex is recyclable so make sure you’re recycling it.
Remember: “There is no such thing as ‘away’. When we throw anything away it must go somewhere.”