The material plastic wasn’t created without a goal in mind of its creator. Definitely, it was created with a purpose, as all things are. Plastics greatly reduce transport costs, are less prone to breakage (and thus wastage), etc.
But as all (good) things do, plastics come with a downside, too. One of the major concerns associated with them is their recyclability.
Now, plastic, generally, is recyclable. But not all kinds of plastic are, and it’s important that, you, as a consumer of goods, understand this. It isn’t enough to have a ‘recyclable’ symbol on your container and dispose it off to a nearby bin to ensure it gets recycled. How, then, can you ensure it truly does get recycled? Following are some ways:
1. Make it a point to identify plastic, anywhere it may be. Today, plastic surrounds us in all places and things and the first measure to solve any problem is its identification. Even products that come in glass packaging have some plastic associated with them. Identify it and set it aside for recycling.
2. Get to know what the packaging is actually made from. Often, plastics are a blend of more than one material which cannot be recycled and only has to be incinerated. Look for single-ingredient only plastics such as 100% PET plastic which is fully and easily recyclable. However, if you are in doubt, leave it out.
3. Keep the packaging clean when disposing it off. And while using it, try to maintain its ‘quality’. Never dispose a non-recyclable item in the recycling bin. As a consumer, you can and must ensure this and it is easy to do. Only plastic of decent quality can be created into new, recycled goods.
4. Your recyclable packaging must go in the recycling bin or designated recycling firm/factory, not anywhere else. Be a responsible citizen and dispose it off in its correct place. Because, at the end of the day, it comes to the recycling program in your area. Find that out and get in touch with the responsible team/people.
5. Invite others to join you on your journey. You, alone, cannot save the environment but you can create a ripple effect across community members and people you have influence over online.
The good news is that with the increasing awareness about how plastic affects the environment (and us, ultimately), more and more plastic is being recycled. Today, the plastic appears to you in one form. Who knows, tomorrow, it might come back to you in another. Isn’t that incredible, exciting news?!
However, that cleared, it’s still always best to always to look for glass, aluminum, biodegradable, etc. packaging that can be recycled infinitely. You can never be 100% sure your good intentions are finding the right channel to be implemented. But you can be near to sure. And that is going to be enough.