How to be an effective recycling citizen

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The Global Recycling Foundation is calling on all citizens of the world to think about their recycling practices. It is especially important to teach children and future generations about recycling and sustainability. The foundation has released a list of seven ‘promises’ that children, schools and adults can live by, in order to become effective recycling citizens.The true scale of environmental damage is becoming clearer by the day. It is important to act immediately to clean up the planet and preserve what is left. “Scientists, environmental leaders, and even schoolchildren (representing the generation who will have to deal with the worst excesses of our environmental legacy) are all calling for urgent action to be taken by everyone, now,” reads a statement on the Global Recycling Foundation website.“We are simply paying lip-service to recycling,” says the founding president of the Global Recycling Foundation, Ranjit Baxi. “Unless producers and recyclers work together to streamline processes, educating the world on the manifest benefits of recycling will remain a near impossible task,” he explains.

The seven promises to become an effective recycling citizen

  1. Use less plastic - Think about how you can reduce or even cut out plastic from your life. Use reusable bottles, straws, grocery bags and coffee cups. Where you simply can’t avoid plastic, recycle it once you’re finished with it.
  2. Help friends with recycling - Encourage your friends and family to follow recycling instructions and proper procedures, such as washing waste before disposing of it.
  3. Repair and reuse old items - Do you really need to buy new objects, or can you repair and reuse old ones? If you are able to mend and reuse old items, such as toys, clothes and appliances, you will save money and the environment.
  4. Only put clean, dry items in the recycling bin - Recycling can require more effort, but the benefits to the planet are worth it. Rinse old food containers and drink bottles to remove contaminants. Dry the waste items before disposing of them in the correct bins.
  5. Look online and share with friends - Research ways to recycle online so that you can improve your knowledge. Don’t forget to share your newly-discovered recycling tips with friends and family.
  6. Don’t ignore other materials - Recycling is not simply about plastic and metal. It is possible to recycle other materials too, even whole electronic devices. Don’t forget to recycle other waste items such as batteries, light bulbs and scrap paper.
  7. Recycle packaging - Packaging is one of the leading contributors to waste in the environment. Everything is packaged nowadays, so it is important to recycle plastic, foam and metal packaging.
“Governments, NGOs, private and public businesses, environmentalists, economists, entrepreneurs, innovators, and disruptors must band together to find new solutions, and new solutions fast,” Baxi states. “Together, we can make a difference,” he concludes.___Averda is a leading waste management provider with over 50 years of experience across three continents. Through growth, transformation and engagement, we strive to find new ways of managing waste while protecting the community and environment. ___By pairing international expertise with local insights, we have secured our position as one of South Africa’s most respected providers of waste management and industrial cleaning services. We also operate in the recycling, pipe inspection, CCTV, infrastructure inspection, hydro-demolition, high-pressure water jetting and catalyst handling industries. ___Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for the best tips on recycling and the latest industry news. See our Instagram and YouTube channels for more insights into environmental affairs and our work with local communities.