Whilst we are a zero waste shop in Glasgow looking to help reduce waste all together, we fully support recycling far above contributing to landfill waste
We always do our best to educate on the importance of the zero waste hierarchy to help reduce our waste all together, but before the last ‘R’ being Rot (meaning composting before the last resort being landfill) there is Recycle.
It’s Recycle Week 2018 and we want to make sure everyone is more at ease with recycling and knows what to do and where to go to recycle. So many people we have spoken to, either don’t have the resource to, meaning there is no local infrastructure for recycling or they can’t differentiate between what can be recycled or know where to take their recycling.
Recycling rates in Scotland are on the increase, but Glasgow is still lagging behind
It’s obviously welcome news, but so much more can be done especially when we look at the figures for Glasgow and other cities. Glasgow’s recycling figures increased by 1.5% from 25.2% in 2016, to 26.7% in 2017.
This raises the question as to whether it’s an infrastructure issue, availability of information on where and what to recycle, or general apathy towards recycling properly if at all. Perhaps it’s an issue of all three! The best thing you can do is be informed on what you and your neighbours can do and speak to your local council and councillors about the recycling availability.
What can you recycle?
Understanding recycling labels can be really confusing, especially when there are so many to guide your way through! If you go to this link – here – on Recycle Now, there is a breakdown of what recycling labels mean. The video below also from Recycle Now, as part of the campaign led by WRAP has a good breakdown of labels.
Plastic is also another tricky product to navigate what can be recycled or not. Hopefully this plastic reference sheet below will help. If you contact your local council’s waste management team, they should be able to give you information on what their kerbside recycling team can take, also to avoid risking cross-contamination.
If your residential recycling team can’t recycle it, use the links in the next section to navigate where it will be possible to recycle these types of plastic.
It’s also important to note, black plastic cannot be seen or recognised by recycling machines so these cannot be recycled.
Where can you recycle in Glasgow?
If you don’t have recycling bins provided by your council to have outside your home, which can be unfortunately really common for those living in flats – especially high density areas – it can be really difficult to know what you can do to recycle.
You’ll now see a widget added to the front page of our website, to get more recycling information including what, where and how you can recycle, provided through the Recycle Now campaign led by WRAP.
Where does zero waste come into it?
Reducing your waste before recycling, is where zero waste comes in.
As we all know, zero waste is impossible, our bodies are constantly producing waste themselves, what we can do is reduce, reduce and reduce. Living more zero waste is viable through reducing your impact on the environment, which means using what you already.
- Repair an item when broken first and foremost, there are great repair cafe events, in and around Glasgow, have a look at The Repair Cafe to begin with if you can’t find a YouTube video or a friend who knows how to, chances are, put a shout out on social media and there will be someone out there, or check out the new SwapMarket in Glasgow where you can swap skills, as well as many other items
- Borrow – Do you really need to buy something new? If you’re only going to use an item a couple of times then ask around first to see if anyone has something you can borrow for a while. Borrowing can bring back a sense of community to groups of people, there are also new tool libraries popping up all over the place, be sure to check out the Glasgow tool library
- Repurpose – If you need to replace something, then look for another way to use the item until it’s truly came to the end of its life or recycle if you can.
- To reduce energy consumption and costs, it may be also be an idea to pool together with a group of people to purchase an item together to share
- Replacing – If you truly need to replace something, recycle your item or freecycle it for someone else to find a purpose (you’d be surprised how many people want your ‘rubbish’ for projects of their own) and then look into products that are truly sustainable and long lasting (beware of greenwashing though – more on this in a future blog).
Including recycling into your zero waste life can be great!
Once you get the hang of sorting out your recycling, it will reduce your carbon footprint dramatically if you don’t already recycle. Look for long term recyclate such as glass and metal, and keep a check on the above list to find out if there’s another way to reduce the waste.
There are products that can be recycled multiple times and have long lives through recycling without degrading, such as metal and glass, so if you’re buying packaged items, look for them packaged in cans, tins or glass first of all as these will have a much longer life than plastic or paper.
Got a question about recycling? Or just passionate about sharing the message about recycling? Get in touch!