Paper, plastic, metal, glass… selective sorting of household waste is good for the planet and is now something that we do automatically as part of our daily routine. How do you know if packaging is recyclable? How do you sort waste effectively? Let’s focus on some astute solutions, which are both hygienic and practical.
It’s good to recycle!
Did you know? 27 plastic water bottles can make a fleece. It takes 670 soft drink cans to produce a bicycle. Recycling household waste cannot be anything other than beneficial:
- It helps to preserve scarce resources such as aluminum and oil, which are essential for making plastics.
- It always equates to saving energy. It takes four times less energy to recast a can than it does to produce it from scratch.
- It significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. On a national scale, the annual saving exceeds the amount of pollution caused by one million cars!
Sorting waste correctly isn’t that complicated
Putting one item of rubbish into the wrong container disrupts an entire sorting system. That item then needs to be re-routed to the appropriate area, which doubles the transport costs. So it’s better if we get it right…
- The waste material which we do not produce is still the easiest to recycle. When you go shopping, cut down on excess packaging; buy products which are not pre-packed and drink tap water.
- Items which look as if they are recyclable may not necessarily be so. One such example is glassware, and unless otherwise instructed by your local authority, this is also the case with yoghurt pots and other plastic food trays, as they do not contain enough raw materials.
- Plastic film around packs of bottled water, bottles of oil … recycling solutions vary from one town to another and may result in varied instructions for sorting waste. Always follow the directions issued by your local authority.
- A poorly drained tin cannot only contaminate your dustbin, but also the waste sorting system. Dispose of any food residue on containers and avoid recycling pizza boxes, which nearly always have traces of food left on them.
- As recyclable waste is sorted mechanically, always separate materials. To help you do this, we have come up with the Curver “duo bin”, a waste bin with two inner compartments. It comes with four coloured clips to make it easier to sort your household waste each day: green for plastic, red for metal, blue for paper and then yellow for compostable waste … practical, isn’t it?
- Unfortunately packaging is often just as bulky when it’s empty as when it’s full. Try to reduce it in size as much as possible: fold cardboard, crush soft drink cans and flatten plastic bottles, preferably lengthways.
- Do not put different recyclables together in plastic bags because these will never be emptied and all their contents will eventually be incinerated. Have one bin specifically for all your packaging: the Curver “slim bin”, which is really narrow in width, has been designed to be able to fit anywhere, even into very small spaces. You may also find that the best solution for sorting your waste in the kitchen is to have several of these standing side by side!
- Batteries, ink cartridges and light bulbs: some consumables are very harmful to the environment and are a danger to human health. Put them in air tight boxes and take them to your nearest green dot collection point on a regular basis.
How do you know if packaging is recyclable?
Potentially reusable materials are identified by the Möbius loop (a triangle consisting of three arrows). This same icon, displaying a percentage inside it, indicates the proportion of recycled materials used in their manufacture.
The “Triman” symbol (a figure accompanied by three arrows) indicates that the packaging can be collected for recycling and should therefore be sorted accordingly. This has been mandatory for all materials except glass since the beginning of 2015.
Finally, the “éco-emballage ” symbol (two intertwining arrows inside a circle) indicates that the manufacturing company makes a financial contribution to a recycling scheme.