in order to Paulina Madrigal
When we talk about caring for the environment, we usually think of recycling.Although this is not a panacea for the pollution problem, it is indeedI is part of the action that enables us to better understand our consumption habits and make smarter and more sustainable decisions. Therefore, let us understand how this recycled item works.
First of all, you should know what we call “recycling”: this is Convert products into raw materials to make more products of the same quality (Romer, 2021).
Second, if you make a product of lower quality and value, then we talk about Insufficient recycling; If it is used to make something of higher value, then we will be talking about upgrade (Romer, 2021).I know it’s a world, but it’s important to point this out because So that we can make full use of natural resources Already extracted from nature
Now, can everything be recycled?
no. I have noticed that if the following three conditions are met, the material will be recyclable:
- market: Someone bought raw materials from recycling. The higher the value of the material, the more likely it is to be recycled.
- technology: There must be technology to process materials and turn them into raw materials.
- location: If someone near you collects and recycles the material, the material is recyclable, but if it is not available, we cannot say that it is indeed recyclable.
As you can see, The possibility of recycling materials depends on the environment and needs.
What is the correct way to separate?
The best way is to find out how municipal solid waste (MSW) is managed in your municipality.The most basic separation is organic and inorganic, but Start recycling, it will be more convenient to identify the four types of waste:
- Non-recyclable and hygienic
- Special handling or danger (medicine, solvent, bulky, etc.).
In this article, we will focus on Recyclable waste Most common in Mexico.
It is very important that you keep them dry and clean. You only need to drain them or rinse them with dual water.
Understand your waste and understand what you consume most, In this way, you can set up a collection center with relevant classifications at home. Another point to consider is that for your collectors, ask how they receive the waste so that you can work and recycle easily.
Is waste sorting worthwhile?
Yes, always. Even if you transport the waste to any garbage truck, the staff will usually take back what they can sell. When you transport waste separately, cleanly and dryly, you can conveniently complete this task while protecting its health, because you can prevent the source of infection And they are connected to everything you will no longer touch.
Having said that, let’s talk about the materials that our country usually recycles.
- Paper and cardboard: Make sure they are free of grease, as they make recycling difficult or impossible.
- aluminum: Beverages, food and aerosol cans are among the most valuable wastes.
- Black material: Wires, bottle caps, staples, etc.
- Electronics and batteries: We must recycle them and reuse them because they are highly polluting, which is very important.
- Trapatac: It is divided into three layers: plastic, paper and aluminum, so the process is very specific. Find a collection point.
- Used vegetable oil
- glass: Although the value in the market is not high, glass bottles are recyclable, and this type of glass has the characteristics of unlimited recycling.
- plastic product: This is a broad topic. Not all plastics can be recycled. Use the numbers in the triangles to identify the type of plastic.
- 1. Polyethylene terephthalate pet When crystallized (such as soda water and mineral water bottles), it has a high recovery rate. But PETE pallets are actually not recyclable. Even if the color is solid and the plastic cannot be seen, even if it is ranked first, it cannot be recycled.
- 2. High-density polyethylene or High-density polyethylene It is highly recyclable. They are some beverage bottles, personal hygiene products, containers, household items, etc.
- number 3. Vinyl chloride or PVC It is not actually recycled. It can be found in pipes, credit cards, disposable items, etc.
- 4. Low density polyethylene or Low-density polyethylene It is not very recyclable. They are plastic bags, plastic bags or films, some disposable toys.
- #5. Polypropylene o Polypropylene It is highly recyclable. They can pack cosmetics, creams, food, toys, etc. The appearance of fried bags or BOPP is actually not recyclable.
- #6. Polystyrene Polystyrene It is actually not recyclable. Usually it is styrofoam, bags, disposables, containers, etc.
- #7. other. This number is used to indicate that it is a mixture of resins, or at least not one of the same numbers as the other numbers. Therefore, it is not recyclable.
To find the collection point of these materials and other materials, you can consult Map of Ecolana of the entire Republic of Mexico.
These are some unrecycled materials, or it is difficult to find someone who made them in Mexico:
- shattered glass
- rearview mirror
- Aluminum foil
- Biodegradable plastics (some people say they are recyclable, but I don’t know who recycles them)
- Plastic tray (called PETE)
- Exotic plastic
- Disposable plastic tableware
- Disposable hygiene products (diapers, sanitary napkins, tampons, toilet paper, etc.)
- Plastic tape
- Save light bulbs
- Toothpaste tube
- Plastic bag and bubbles
- Fried and snack packaging
- PVC plastic pipes and credit cards
- Cigarette butts
You must be wondering why these materials and products are still manufactured even if they cannot be recycled. I also want to know. It is best to avoid them.
If you reduce consumption, everything will become easier. The less waste left, the less separation work you have to do.
Does the recycling solution pollute the environment?
No, this is part of it. Although recycling is much better than continuing to extract the original material, We must focus on the most renewable strategies such as rejection, reduction and reuse. Recycling takes away the added value of the product and has an ecological footprint. Therefore, when transitioning to a new mode of production and consumption with higher awareness, let us use this strategy when strictly necessary.
Other things you can do:
- Ask the company about the products you buy and how to dispose of the waste.
- Consume bulk products in your own bags and containers.
- It requires the government to plan to adopt a zero-waste and circular economy approach.
Although recycling helps us manage waste that already exists and has not been taken seriously, for the environment, stopping the use of packaging to invade the market will always benefit the environment.
- Romer J. Can I recycle it? Penguin Books, 2021.
- Bulk Ideas podcast, “Let’s talk about plastic and its recycling”, interview with México Recicla, 2019.
- Ellen MacArthur Foundation (Ellen MacArthur Foundation), 2016. “The new plastic economy.Rethinking the future of plastics“.
- IMECIRC, 2020. “Circular economy and plastics, what is the way forward?”.
- IMECIRC, 2020, “Recycling myth“.