Minimizing the demand for Recyclables
Firstly, we need to understand that recycling is not energy free or pollution free. It does come with a price and we are willing to pay that price so that global demand of virgin plastics comes down and the plastic that is already produced remains in circulation rather than getting stacked up in the landfills. In other words, recycling is the responsibility that we owe to the planet, because we started using plastics at the first place. And this definitely embosses the fact that the decision of using plastic at all should be rethought. Your one little effort of switching a product /packaging or a shopping choice works in multiple ways.
See through the product!
I often find a lot of products around being promoted for their packaging in paper. However, many times the have a plastic lamination which categorizes them niether as paper nor as plastic. They are not reusable, not recyclable and not even compostable. It is better to use a sturdy plastic bottle packaging and send it to recycle than using a laminated paper packaging which wont even compost. Glass jars with plastic caps, or metal lined plastics that are often used in food packaging are some of the materials that don't work either way. So whenever you buy or use any product just spare a minute to think about its fate after the use. It should either get composted or should be easily recyclable. If the product is not falling in either category then it is definitely going to end up into the landfill.
Promote recycled products
Try preferring recycled plastic over virgin plastic wherever possible. As a rule of thumb, try to eliminate plastic from the kitchen first. Plastic is notorious for its health implications and hence must be replaced entirely from the utensils and storage shelf. This can give way to 100 percent recyclable glass and metal products. For rest of the products, first look for an alternative to plastic and if an alternative is not feasible then scroll through the recycled plastic products . Intention behind this is to decrease the demand of virgin plastic. If the existing demand for plastic is reduced, especially that of the virgin plastic, the production will start declining at the source.
Make sure its clean
Trashing a plastic bottle to recycle bin? How do you make sure that it gets recycled and doesn't pile up a landfill. Cleaning is an important aspect when we dump a waste product into a recycle bin as most of the recyclable products are rendered "useless" just because they are soiled. The most common example of this are food boxes. A pizza box is completely recyclable, but if it has been smeared with food and ketchup, it probably may become impossible to recycle it. So, most of your takeaway containers become a part of landfill just because, they were too messy to deal with. The concern is genuine. We as individuals, are quite hesitant when it comes to dealing with the trash and often end up evaluating the monetary value of our ecological responsibilities. SO how can we expect a profit making company to put so much effort to extract that little recyclable material from our filthy trash. Just think!
Prefer Glass and metal
Infinitely recyclable, glass and metal are the best buds of the environment when it comes to storing and packaging practices right now. Glass and metal can be recycled easily indefinite number of times without getting degraded. The best part is that they are absolutely inert to the contents and hence pose no health hazards.
We prefer food packaging that comes in a glass jar over the plastic ones. Most importantly, the empty glass jars can be reused as containers, and after a long span when there is surplus, you can anytime send them for recycling with full assurance.
To summarize, we would like to propose a collective approach towards consumption of plastic. This means abandoning all those products that are not recyclable i.e plastic bags, packaging, etc . Preferring products that come in recyclable packaging and in cases where there are no shopping choices, go for the plastic packaging which is further recyclable. One the seed of "concern" towards plastic trash is sowed in our mind, these few simple steps will always be processing in our thoughts before we make any shopping choice. Share your valuable comments and suggestions in the comment box below.