Recycling is a global issue

The news last week that packaging giant SIG is starting up a recycling initiative for households and food service providers in Egypt with Tagaddod, a tech-based waste collection company in the country, is a good thing. As packages and plastics become more widespread globally, it is an imperative to get the recycling system in place. All too often, we see things on the streets (plastics, metals, cartons) that are of use in the recycling stream, but are not being utilised and then wind up in the waterways. I keep looking at things like that and thinking, it’s leaving money on the table that people can use, and is no good for the environment and the planet.

I also feel that a reward system is a valuable addition to the usual household collection. If people know they will get a direct benefit, they are more likely to do the right thing and get rid of their household waste responsibly. Currently, around 60 per cent of the waste Egypt generates per year is collected, and only 20 per cent is properly disposed of or recycled.

As these economies grow quickly, it is incumbent on governments and the societies to make sure that the waste generated doesn’t cause issues. This can be done by reusing packaging, or recycling it, or using it as fuel for the power plants. Collection points have to be paramount, for people to take the packages and get them into the recycling stream.

Indeed, we all have to get better about making sure whatever packaging we use doesn’t cause issues.

Upcycling should also be a thing, although I will warn all that labelling is key. I once had several packets of allotment seeds thrown out, as I had tucked them into an old plastic laundry capsule package, and my husband put the package into the recycling bin.

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