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Simple tips to recycle like a legend

The "Refuse the Straw" movement got ua all thinking about the impact single use plastic can have in the greater scheme of things. Think how many of us used plastic straws for years without a care. Now, with the simple combined individual action of people all over the world, the use of plastic straws is on the serious decline.
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Recycling is the first place I started on my sustainability journey and I would argue it is the best place to start. Once you start collecting and sorting your recycling you get a really good feel for how much waste you are producing and how the simple action of recycling can have such a big impact.
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This realisation only motivated me to keep making small personal changes to lower my impact. I have a long way to go but I’m on the road to recovery and I want you to join me.

 

Here are a few simple tips to help you get started or improve your recycling efforts:
 1) Convenience is key
There is no denying that humans are addicted to convenience. Man, do I get it. 
So, remember to plan convenience into every change you make. ‘Do Easy,’ a principle of simplifying tasks can help you make recycling a breeze and can go a long way to making your personal changes stick.
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Four Different Recycle Bins

 

Here is what we do to make recycling second nature:

  • Four small bins in the kitchen. One for glass, one for plastic, one for tin and one for paper.
  • Four large bins in the garage.
  • All the bins are labelled so there is no mixing.
  • Once the smaller inside bins are full we transfer to the larger bins.
  • Once these are full we do a run to our local waste management centre. Meaning we only have to go once a month. Win! 

Meaning less excuses of why we can't recycle. ;)

 

2) What to do after collecting my recycling

Finding your nearest recycling centre is an important part of the process. You don’t want to put the effort in on your side and have that all wasted on a recycling centre that perhaps does not meet all the requirements you need or doesn’t recycle at all.

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Have a look at this resource to find the nearest centre to and plan your drop offs into your normal routine.

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http://petco.co.za/find-a-recycling-drop-off-site/

  

3) Not all plastic is created equal

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Glass, tin and paper need very little thought when separating for recycling, but plastic is a little different. There are many different types of plastic made for a range of different applications and you can easily accumulate three or four different types in a single trip to the shop.

But how do you know what is recyclable and what is not? Your best bet is starting to avoid single use plastic all together, but another step is identifying the types of plastics and if they are recyclable or not.

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Next time you are holding a plastic container have a look on the underside for a small imprint of a triangle with a number in it, these are called resin codes. These numbers represent different types of plastic and give you the information you need. So, you will know whether you can recycle it, if it needs a specialised recycling centre to do the job or if that plastic is non-recyclable and will sit in landfill for your children’s children’s children to look at. 

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To know which plastics can be recycled check out the below chart which shows the different resin codes and the types of plastics they identify.  

 Plastic Resin Codes

 

 4) Challenge yourself

 

If you haven’t started recycling just yet, challenge yourself to try it out just for one month. Set a start date and a final recycling drop off date. Seeing your waste right in front of you and seeing how much of it can be reused or recycled will be all the motivation you need!

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If you already recycle, challenge yourself to make small daily changes to improve your refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle your way to a more sustainable future.

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Check out or store for our sustainable solutions or our Eco-friendly reusable Shopper Bags made from recycled plastic. For more click here.