Why is recycling so important?
It is no surprise that over the past few years the importance of recycling has become a matter of urgency. With more and more single use plastics in production, the negative impact on the environment is increasing. Countless studies have shown that when practicing responsible recycling, the resulting effect on saving the planet can be tremendous. Actioning recommended efficient and sustainable recycling is a huge step towards reducing the detrimental effects on the planet.
But, why – with supermarkets removing plastic bags from fresh produce aisles, cafes offering discounts to customers using reusable cups, and consumers purchasing biodegradable hygiene and sanitary products – does it seem like the importance of recycling has only been recognised in the last year?
Well, it hasn’t. Recycling has been a point of discussion for many years between activists and the concerned parties in Government. However, there have been several developments including the ones previously mentioned, in the past two years which have thrown the importance of recycling into the spotlight. Albeit, often these have been instigated by large corporations, but they have redirected the public’s attitude toward more environmentally friendly behaviours.
The Blue Planet Effect
One of the most notable insights into how our actions really do affect the planet we live on is the BBC’s Blue Planet II, which has since been coined ‘The Blue Planet Effect’.
Research suggests that 88% of people who watched the final episode of the BBC’S Blue Planet II changed their behaviours surrounding recycling and use of single-use plastics drastically. It is undeniable that Attenborough and his team’s research ignited a revolution against single-use plastics and the importance involved in recycling correctly should we wish to save the planet.
The most harrowing footage of an albatross feeding its chicks plastic in the final episode brought to light the negative impact we, as humans, have on the natural world around us. Rightly so, the programme highlighted the importance of reducing waste that goes to landfill and the ever increasing importance of responsible recycling, thus sparking a revolution to protect our planet.
Where does your plastic waste go?
It may come as no surprise that a large percentage of plastic waste ends up in the ocean. Recent studies suggest that 100% of sea turtles have been known to ingest plastic, with the likely mortality rate from ingesting a single piece of plastic sitting at 22%. But, how exactly does your plastic waste end up in the ocean?
Firstly, it could be simply that you are throwing away plastic which could, in fact, be recycled. Plastic that is put in general waste bins predominantly ends up at landfill. When the rubbish is in landfill sites, lightweight bits of plastic often blow away and end up in drains leading to the ocean. Always look out for the recycling logo on packaging and plastics to check if it can be recycled, and if not, try to refrain from purchasing that product and opt for alternatives. Naturally, the increase in responsible recycling results in the decrease of plastics in landfill. Furthermore, reducing the likelihood of plastics polluting the ocean.
Similarly to the first point is the problem of litter. Littering rather than disposing of waste properly consequently allows plastics to be carried away by wind or by rainwater to streams, rivers, and drains – all of which lead to the ocean. In addition to this, improper and illegal waste disposal such as flytipping have been known to hugely contribute towards the increasing amount of plastic pollution.
Lastly, it could even be the case that you’re washing plastics straight down your drain without noticing. Many cosmetic products, including toothpaste and face wash, have microplastics or microbeads within them. These products are designed to scrub and exfoliate your skin or improve the cleaning of your teeth. However, the negative impact these have on the environment crucially outweigh the benefits they have for your appearance. Unable to be filtered out due to their miniscule size, these microplastics end up in vast quantities in our oceans, and even end up back in our drinking water. There have been movements towards banning these microplastics by the European Union (EU), but in the meantime you can help by making sure the cosmetic products you purchase are plastic free.
Here at PSH Environmental, we have always prioritised recycling throughout our many years working as a skip hire company. In fact, we are the only skip hire company in East Norfolk who have the capabilities to process non-recyclable waste into fuel, ergo allowing us to reliably achieve 99-100% landfill diversion. We pride ourselves in our contributions to sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. All the waste collected in our skips is individually processed at our Norfolk based materials recycling facility, allowing us to achieve the highest possible rates of zero waste to landfill as efficiently as possible. We believe in sending the smallest amount of waste to landfill and in thoroughly reducing the amount of plastic that ends up polluting our oceans. Actions like these all contribute to saving the planet, and here at PSH Environmental, you can always guarantee that every step towards eco-friendly waste disposal is taken.