Talking Rubbish! Answering your waste and recycling questions

We like to think after almost 40 years in the industry we are now experts in the field of waste and recycling. We have been proud suppliers of bags, sacks and other products for the capture and containment of waste and recyclables since 1983. Over the years we have been asked many questions, given countless presentations and provided plenty of advice on the topic of waste management, so today we are talking rubbish (literally) answering the burning and repeated questions posed to us about recycling.

Why is it important to segregate waste?

People believe that they are doing the right thing when they are recycling their waste – which of course they are. The issue is when they are recycling this waste incorrectly. Putting rubbish and waste into the wrong bins causes cross-contamination which not only interrupts the recycling process but in extreme cases, makes the entire batch of waste unrecyclable due to high levels of contamination. This is often due to incorrect materials being put into the wrong bins, or dirty waste which will leak food and liquid onto other recyclables, now damaging their recyclability.

How can I make my recycling better?

The first step would be to stop cross-contamination, washing your recyclables – ensuring they have a sufficient level of cleanliness is the first step. Then you must ensure you are placing them into the correct bins, based on both their recyclability content and the offerings of the local authority they live within. When in doubt, do some research or place it into the general waste.

Compacting your waste i.e crushing cans and plastic bottles, and flattening cardboard boxes, is a great way to make more room in your recycling bin – it also helps with the recycling process.

Whats are the ‘3 R’s’?

Reduce, re-use & recycle. The first stage ‘reduce’ is encouraging people to reduce their waste & purchasing habits. The re-use aspect is encouraging more re-use of products before they are disposed of. Many items that are dubbed ‘single-use’ have a far greater life-span and can be used several times. Up-recycle and donating are all great examples of reducing. And then if we cannot reduce or re-use, we must ensure we are recycling.

Are the alternatives to plastic actually better for the environment?

Paper, cotton, metal and glass are actually in many ways more damaging to the environment than plastics. They all produce far higher greenhouse gases in both products, transportation and recycling. They are far heavier than plastics and in many cases are not as durable.  FACT: You would have to use a cotton shopping bag 173 times to equal the environmental impact of a plastic bag that has been used once.

Why is food waste recycling important?

Food waste is an ever-growing issue, which produces very large levels of methane which is a very harmful gas in our atmosphere. Recycling food waste is a great way to reduce these harmful gases, but also support a circular economy by closing the recycling loop. Food waste breaks down into compost which can be used to grow more foods.

What do the different recycling symbols mean?

Plastic Resin Identification Code and the different recycling method logos are explained in this downloadable pdf.