Blog

Recycling: Myths & Facts

Recycling is often the first step towards sustainable lifestyles, but do you know that effective recycling starts when you purchase an item rather than when you discard it?

In this article, we break down common misconceptions about recycling to help you make eco-friendly choices in everyday living and so that you can lower your environmental footprint through sustainable and eco-conscious choices.

Myth #1: All green arrows are same

Did you know that just 10% of plastic waste generated worldwide has been recycled? Most of us believe that any plastic product within the 3 arrows is recyclable but that’s a myth. The number within the arrow is just a symbol for the kind of plastic it is e.g. PET, PVC, HDPE, and so on.

The reality is that lowering the number within the 3 arrows means it is easier to recycle the product. So as far as possible choose plastics with 1 or 2 within the arrows and you will be taking a good step for the environment.

Myth #2: Paper is an eco-friendly alternative to Plastic

The reality is that many paper products are not recyclable e.g. gift wrapping paper, shredded paper,plastic-coated paper, paper contaminated with food debris. Creating virgin paper products leads to deforestation, wastes water (up to 5 liters for just 1 sheet of A4 paper), and burns fossil fuels. So as far as possible, try to avoid using paper napkins when you are in a restaurant or at home, and instead of metallic gift wrapping paper choose more sustainable and eco-conscious alternatives.

Myth #3: Products can be endlessly recycled.

Even recyclable plastic and paper can at most be recycled 10 times before it degrades and is no longer usable. The best way to improve waste management is to use metal, glass, and such products that can be recycled repeatedly without degradation.

Material

Energy Saved vs. original/New product.

Normal degradation cycle

Number of times recycled

Aluminium

95%

200 years

Infinite

Plastic

10% - 33%/

Up to 450 years

Max 2 times, then downcycled

Glass

30%

1 million years

Infinite

Tin

26%-40%

80-200 years

Infinite

Paper

40%

NM^

Max 9 times

* Tin cans contain 99% steel.

While all this is good to know information, how does recycling help the planet?

Benefit #1: Recycled products are more energy-efficient to manufacture

Upcycling recycled products consumes far less energy compared to manufacturing from base virgin materials and this is not just a marginal impact. Did you know it takes 95% less energy to make recycled aluminum soft drink cans as compared to new cans?

Benefit #2: Recycled products are resource-efficient

Every ton of plastic waste recycled results in a saving of approximately 3.8 barrels of petroleum. Not just this it also reduces plastic waste out of the ecosystem.

Benefit #3: Recycled products reduce pollution

Do you know that recycled paper emits up to 30% less greenhouse gases than virgin paper similarly, recycled glass reduces air pollution by 20% vs. new glass.

Learning about eco-conscious and sustainable lifestyles and taking just a few good steps can add up to make a big difference for our planet.

 

0 0 votes
Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Other Articles

Escape the Impulse Buying Trap

Ads and algorithms keep nudging us constantly to keep buying mindlessly. Here are some tips for mindful shopping to know how to avoid this trap. Not only have we spent money needlessly but also have to take care or find a way of how to use the stuff or store the stuff.

Read More »
Shopping cart
Sign in

No account yet?

Use GDSTEP at checkout and get 10% off on your first order.

X
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x