It’s week 4 of Plastic-Free July, and we’re excited about your progress towards a plastic-free lifestyle with the 5 R’s of Zero-Waste: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot. These principles are interconnected and represented in a circular guide. Remember, tips can be used interchangeably between the R’s and may be repeated.

Last week, we focused on reusing and upcycling single-use plastics you may have. Now, let’s talk about the next step – recycling those plastics that you can’t refuse or reuse. Recycling goes beyond simply discarding items into the right recycling streams; it also involves giving them a second chance through donations. Meaning Recycling and Reuse can be seen as closely related.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when recycling:

  1. Share with Family and Friends: Before you recycle, check with family and friends if they could use the items. Sometimes, others may find a good use for those single-use plastics or plastic items in general.
  2. Donate to Local Charities: If the plastic items are still in good condition, consider donating them to local charities. They might be able to find new homes for these items and extend their lifespan.
  3. Retailer Take-Back Programs: Check if any of the retailers from whom you purchased plastic-packaged items have take-back programs for their packaging, such as plastic bottles. Participating in these programs can help ensure proper recycling.
  4. Follow Local Recycling Guidelines: It’s essential to sort your plastics into the correct waste stream based on local recycling guidelines. This ensures effective recycling and minimizes contamination.

If you’re at Carleton University, make use of our Waste Wizard tool to find the correct disposal method for the items you wish to recycle. If you live in the City of Ottawa, they have a similar tool on their website for city-wide recycling guidelines, but keep in mind that some rules may differ from those at Carleton.

By incorporating these recycling tips, you’re contributing to a more sustainable future. Remember, Plastic-Free July is about making small changes that collectively create a significant positive impact on our environment. Let’s continue working together to reduce plastic waste and build a better world.

Monday, July 24, 2023 in ,
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