Recycle to reuse

We see “Recycle” mantra in all corners of the world these days. Every packaging will have the recycle symbol printed on it. According to studies done on waste materials, it was found that we throw away our own body weight equivalent of rubbish every 7 weeks, and up to 80% of this could be recycled.

The On Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) or symbols will tell us whether the packaging is likely to be collected for recycling or not. There are actually more than 5 recycle symbols which represents different forms and indications on the recycle of the item. Getting to know atleast those labels that are used frequently is like educating ourselves on how to recycle in the right way.

Package label that is collected by 75% or more of local authorities in that country, for example plastic bottles.

Package label which reminds us to rinse the package before throwing it into the bins, for example food trays – ensures that any food residue doesn’t contaminate other materials or does not attract parasites/virus in the collection centres due to the food residues.

Labels seen on plastic bottles and drinks cartons. Squashing or flattening the packaging means that there is more space in the recycling bin, also makes the transport of recycling much more efficient – less air, more recycling, better for the environment. If the cap is too small then it will fall through the holes in the sorting process, designed to remove contamination. Keeping the cap on means that all of the packaging will get through the recycling process.

Metal paint cans can be recycled at recycling centres. Some paint can also be recycled. Local councils or corporations can provide the list of such recycling centres.

This label is also known as Mobius Loop, which actually indicates that the packaging in question is recyclable.

Label does NOT mean that the packaging in question is recyclable. It is also confused with the mobius loop symbol. The label actually means that the producer has financially contributed to the recovery and recycling of packaging in some way.

This label can be seen on packages which are only being recycled by 20% of recycling centres. It is advised to contact the nearest council or corporations to check if such an item can be recycled in any of the recycling centres.

Quite a lot of recycling going on around us! All these days I would conveniently bin the recyclable things in the bin meant for recycling without thinking much about the rest of the story. In fact there are many more recycle labels in use. I personally feel, the above ones are the most commonly used ones and we should be aware of them. As the famous saying goes – Knowledge is power, let’s show our responsibility and concern to our future generations by creating awareness on “Correct ways of Recycling”.

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