Redefining waste: the urgent call of World Recycling Day 2024

March 18th is World Recycling Day, established in 2018 by the Global Recycling Foundation. Let's find out why it is so important and some tips for properly disposing of waste in everyday life

The annual toll of consumption

Annually, humanity devours billions of tons of natural resources, often overlooking a crucial fact: they are finite. At this rate, the planet is on a trajectory toward collapse by 2050 unless we pivot our direction. In such a scenario, reevaluating what we discard and acknowledging the true value of recycling becomes paramount.

Why march 18 matters

This is the driving force behind World Recycling Day, celebrated every March 18 since its inception in 2018 by the Global Recycling Foundation. This initiative serves as a reminder to governments and institutions of the urgency for a unified approach. Simultaneously, it aims to heighten individual awareness of the significant impact their contributions can make. The emphasis is on the notion that even mundane daily actions, like proper waste separation, can make a substantial difference.

The seventh resource

Thanks to recycling, hailed as the seventh resource, we save over 772 million ton of CO2 emissions, a figure projected to hit one billion by 2030, as highlighted by the Global Recycling Foundation. Recycling is a valuable practice that not only conserves natural resources but also curtails pollution from waste and consumes less energy than producing new materials, thereby reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Embracing recycling day: tips and common mistakes

To honor Recycling Day, let’s review some key tips for effective waste sorting and common errors to avoid:

  • Paper and cardboard should be disposed of in their respective bins, but soiled napkins and tissues belong with organic waste.
  • Glass bottles and jars should go into glass recycling, but glassware, mirrors, and ceramic plates must be discarded as general waste.
  • Pens, markers, and toys, even if made of plastic, should be treated as general waste.
  • Receipts are not recyclable and should go into general waste.
  • The sorting of Tetra Pak containers varies by municipality. Consult the appropriate interactive map for guidance.
  • Packaging and wrappers for biscuits and coffee, often made from non-recyclable materials, should be disposed of as general waste. A “triangle with code 07” indicates non-recyclability.
  • The disposal method for aluminum foil varies by locality; it may be collected with plastics, glass, or in a special bag for aluminum collection.

Source: Global Recycling Day

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