😅 Share for the laughs, stay for the facts. ♻️ TL;DR, recycling is the third R, you have to reduce and reuse first. ⏤
💁♀️ We all like to recycle... when it's convenient. 🙄 66 percent of people surveyed by a Harris Poll last October said that they wouldn’t recycle AT ALL if it wasn’t easy to do. ✌️ That's 2 out of every 3 people! 💔 But convenient recycling does not love us. 🚮 This system of dumping all of our recyclables into one bin is called, "single-stream recycling" and it's popular across many towns and cities because well, it makes recycling easy. ⏤
📈 Single-stream recycling has increased collection rates, which is a good thing, but it's also the cause of sky-high contamination rates. 🙅♀️ With single-stream recycling, we often recycle ~too~ much. 🗑 And by that we mean that we try to recycle things that should have gone in the trash to begin with. 🍕 Like when we try to recycle things coated in food, grease or cleaning fluids that make the normally recyclable material, unrecyclable. 🔋 Or when we try to recycle things that could be recycled, just not through a curbside program.
😱 On average, about 25 percent of the stuff we try to recycle is too contaminated to go anywhere but the landfill, according to the National Waste and Recycling Association. 🚪 And with more countries closing their doors to importing our recyclable due to high contamination rates, the percentage of our recycling that goes to landfill is likely to go up just because it's the only cost efficient option left.
☝️ That's why it's important to reduce and reuse first, so you can avoid entering this inefficient stream entirely. 🤚 The waste management business, as it operates today, is not a solution we can rely on to fix our plastic pollution crisis. 💪 We need to be our own waste managers.
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