And to one of the key&core aspects of Going Green; R E C Y C L I N G.
Here at Onyx, we must admit that while we have always put paper (&cardboard &wood-originating products & such & what not) to the reuse and repossess, recycling has been a facet of our facility that we have somewhat overlooked. But as of the last few months, we have switched our systems to take those reusables to the recover.
You see, we are all responsible for waste. It starts with us, and it ends with us. When we buy products we also buy any waste associated with them – and no one likes being overly trashy.
A significant contributor to waste in NZ is packaging – the Packaging Council of NZ (yes, there really is one) estimates that Kiwis consume about 735,000 tonnes of packaging on an annual basis. And of this, a mere 58 per cent of those that are recyclable are actually recycled. So here at Onyx, we have switched in & out all of our packaging to be recyclable, reusable &/or combustible (next post to expand on this).
Paper&cardboard are easy to recycle, and when they are it means less trees are felled. Glass, aluminium & steel are easiest to recycle, as they go back to where they started with no new minerals mined. And then there are plastics.
The average Kiwi accumulates approx. 36kg of plastic packaging every year, and recycles 8.64kg. Not all plastics are recyclable. There are 7 types, with types 1, 2 & 4 somewhat straightforward to recycle, and 3, 5, 6 & 7 significantly more obfuscated. You see, there is low value in these latter recovered plastics & manufacturers struggle to make any profit from them – so to the bins they go.
But you can take ownership of your waste footprint. Choosing products with minimal packaging – of which can be recycled – or even products without any packaging at all. Saying NO to plastic bags. If in public & unable to find a recycling bin, taking your “rubbish” home & popping it in the systems set up by your local council. 97 per cent of NZers have access to recycling; we can – and we MUST – do a lot better.
In 2012, WWF published a Living Planet Report that stated we are all overshooting the earth’s resources by nearly half a planet. If we continue in such shape, by 2030 we will be needing the equivalent of two earths. And if everyone lived like us Kiwis, we would need two-and-a-half globes already.
http://www.recycle.co.nz/ is a fabulous place to foray for gen, guidelines & gauges. And recycling really is the way. Recycling saves energy. Recycling reduces landfill. Recycling preserves our resources & protects wildlife. Recycling is good for the economy. And recycling helps decreases our greenhouse gas emissions.
Don’t just throw our planet away. Going Green Together.