We've been thinking a lot about recycling lately because we've noticed more and more recycling options in public spaces. 'That's great' we hear you say, a meaningful step forward. But is recycling really the answer?
Of course, disposing of trash appropriately really does make a huge difference to landfill and recycling is a vital piece of the disposal jigsaw. But, as many of you will know, China, previously the biggest buyer of US generated recyclable plastic and paper stopped buying in 2018.
What does this mean? China used to recycle these products into commodities for resale but this is no longer viable due to the sheer quantities involved. The US now has to pay to get rid of its recyclable waste and the cost keeps increasing. Now that local US authorities are responsible for recycling, the costs to collect, sort and sell on are being weighed against the income generated from the sale of these materials and unfortunately, in many instances, the costs far outweigh the income. It's cheaper to send recyclable materials to landfill. So, no matter how diligently you wash your plastic containers and sort your recycling for your refuse collector, you cannot assume that you've done your bit.
The key to the solution lies in reducing the amount of plastic that needs to be recycled and that's where refusing comes in. It is no longer good enough to buy products in plastics that are labelled as recyclable we need to refuse products that are packaged in plastic and search for other alternatives.
Here are a few to consider:
1. STOP buying bottles of water and instead invest in a reusable bottle. There are literally thousands to choose from in many different shapes and sizes and I promise you, it's an easy switch to make. And, a Penn State University study calculated that switching to a reusable bottle will save the average American $1,236 per year!
2. Switch to laundry detergent sheets or pods. Not only do these products come in cardboard packaging which is often compostable, they also contain natural ingredients that are kind to you and planet earth - it's a win, win!
3. Carry your own reusable utensils with you. By doing this you will no longer need to accept the plastic knife and fork handed to you at your local salad bar which means you will not be throwing away any plastic or packaging, you are refusing to generate refuse!
Here at www,millyandsissy.com we are refusing to generate refuse by supplying sustainable products in reusable bottles. Our products really are zero waste and we believe that this has to become the norm for all consumable items in the future. We thank you for your support so far and encourage you to continue to support and expand this trend wherever you can.
PS. Did you know that any food that goes into a bag of recycling will contaminate the whole bag? Be sure to wash your recyclable food containers completely.