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While many of us take small steps each day to reduce, reuse, and recycle, it’s always more fun to share your goals with friends, family, and the community at large. Global Recycling Day is a wonderful time to do good things for our environment. This holiday, which occurs this year on March 18th, is the perfect chance to join forces and recommit to everyday changes to help our planet. Here are some things you should know:


What’s changed in recycling for 2021

Recently, some huge shifts have been happening in how we are able to process our recyclables. For decades, we were sending the bulk of our recycling to China where it would then be repurposed for new plastic products. However in 2020 the country added restrictions for mixed paper and most plastics. Waste-management companies have let us know that it is no longer a market for recycling these products, which tragically means cities are having to pay much higher rates to get rid of recycling, or throw it all away. “We are doing our best to be environmentally responsible, but we can’t afford it,” said Judie Milner, the city manager of Franklin, New Hampshire.

It’s time for Americans to come to terms with a new reality: our plastics that didn’t exist 50 years ago need to go somewhere, and creating this much waste has a price we haven’t had to pay so far. Make sure that the items you are recycling can truly be recycled in your area. When you must buy single-use materials, lean towards aluminum and cardboard, which have the best chance and being repurposed. 

 

How you can honor this holiday

Global Recycling Day 2021 provides the perfect day for a local litter pick up. Children and adults can get involved in cleaning up their local areas by organizing a specific meeting time for those wanting to attend, and then making their way around specific public spaces to collect as much litter as possible. For those that live near the coast, event organizers can host beach clean ups.

Recycle, recycle, recycle! We’ve all heard the catchy jingles, we’ve all seen the glorious green and bins on the streets in our neighborhood! So much good can be done by saving and recycling your trash. Here are a few tips you may not know:

  • Look for a number inside a triangle on the bottom of plastic containers. These indicate what kind of resin was used, and whether the container is recyclable in your state (check your city or state’s website for accepted numbers).
  • Empty and rinse food containers before putting them in the recycling bin. A dirty container can spoil a whole batch of recyclables. 
  • Donate working electronics. 
  • Recycle broken electronics. Many local electronics stores offer free recycling programs for old goods.
  • Contact your local car dealer or municipality to recycle car batteries. 
  • Don’t put non-recyclables in the recycling bin. Garden hoses, sewing needles, propane tanks or cylinders, aerosol cans that aren’t empty, hazardous waste and syringes, broken glass and broken light bulbs should all be avoided.

And for a bonus, here are 8 easy swaps to go plastic-free: https://www.dropps.com/blogs/spincycle/8-easy-swaps-to-go-plastic-free

Happy Global Recycling day!!


Sources:

https://www.globalrecyclingday.com/about/
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/03/china-has-stopped-accepting-our-trash/584131/

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