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Get Your Recycling Right With Our Top Tips
National Recycling Week 2021 is happening November 8-14. Recycling is something we can all do as individuals and as households to take action in caring for our environment. Even though it’s something most of us do every day, it’s worth taking this time to refresh ourselves on the benefits, the how-to’s and the most recent information available.
How to Recycle - The Right Way
When it comes to looking out for our environment, recycling is a powerful thing we can all do. But it’s important to get it right, or we may end up doing more harm than we intend.
With this in mind, here are a few of the basics of recycling. You probably already know many of these - but there may be some you’ve forgotten or didn’t realise. These tips are thanks to the Recycle Right from Byron Shire Council and Planet Ark - check out their National Recycling Week resources for lots more detail.
Keep it Simple
Household recycling is for household products. Only recycle things made of paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, steel, and aluminium.
Things to Keep Out
Soft plastics cannot be accepted in household recycling (but they can be recycled via RedCycle). Other things to leave out include coffee cups, electronics, food, nappies, clothing, polystyrene, building materials and crockery.
Keep it Clean and Loose
Wipe or rinse excess food and drink from containers and packaging. Avoid packaging/ boxing up containers before placing them in your bin. They’ll need to be sorted - so throw them in loose.
At the end of the day, remember that part of the cycle of ‘recycling’ is to buy products that have been recycled. Unless you’re buying back recycled items, you’re not fully recycling! For example, we offer Koala Eco Cleaning products that come in recycled packaging, Ever Eco recycled mesh produce bags, and everyday face wipes that feature recycled materials in the product as well as the packaging.
Things You May not Know (or Need Reminding Of)
Did you know?
- Anything smaller than a credit card should not be placed in your recycling bin. This includes things like bottle caps, bread bag tags and straws - and they need to go in your red landfill bin!
- Drinking glasses and window glass cannot be recycled - into the red landfill bin they go!
- Meat and biscuit trays cannot be recycled. These have to go into the red bin, as the low grade mixed plastics can’t be separated...
- Pizza boxes cannot be recycled, as they’re not clean enough. Put them in your green organics bin for composting instead.
One of the misunderstood areas for many people is whether our recycling products are actually recycled. With widely publicised changes to overseas recycling, it’s reasonable to question what is happening to your recycling. In the Northern Rivers, your recycling is sent to the Chinderah Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) where it is sorted, bailed and appropriately transported to other facilities. From there:
- Cardboard and mixed paper - are processed in Australia
- Plastics - are processed in Australia
- Mixed paper - is processed in Australia
- Glass is crushed and recycled in Australia
- Steel and aluminium are exported to overseas markets
How to Reduce Your Need to Recycle
Of course, even better than recycling is removing the need to recycle in the first place - wherever possible. Producing and processing recyclable products creates a carbon footprint - reusing is a much better solution.
For example, think about where you might introduce reusables to your lifestyle. Reusable water bottles, keep cups, and reusable containers can all reduce the need to recycle in the first place. We have a range of reusable bottles, cups and utensils as well as food storage options to help you in this quest when you're eating out and about.
Another way to reduce your household waste and recycling is to shop in bulk. Santos is passionate about providing bulk food options - shop our range online or in store.
We all want to look after our planet, and recycling is a powerful everyday action we can take. When we all take the time to make sure we get it right, our efforts are even more impactful.
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