Recycling is key to a more circular economy as it allows us to reuse materials and reduce waste. In a traditional linear economy, materials are extracted, processed, used, and then disposed of as waste. This creates a “take-make-waste” model that as we know is unsustainable in the long term.
In contrast, a circular economy seeks to keep materials in use for as long as possible, by designing products for reuse, repair, and recycling. When materials are recycled, they can be turned into new products and raw materials, which reduces the need to extract new resources from the earth.
Recycling also helps to conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For example, recycling aluminium cans uses 95% less energy than producing new cans from raw materials. This means that recycling can help to reduce the carbon footprint of manufacturing and contribute to a more sustainable future.
Overall, recycling is a crucial part of the circular economy as it helps to close the loop on resource use ad reduce waste, while also conserving energy and reducing emissions.
You may be wondering how best to establish a recycling programme in your workplace. We have put together a few tips to help you get started.
- Establish a recycling programme: We recommend setting up a recycling programme that outlines what can and cannot be recycled, where the recycling bins are located, and who is responsible for maintaining them.
- Educate employees: Educate your employees about the importance of recycling and provide training on how to properly sort recyclable materials.
- Make recycling convenient: Place recycling bins in accessible areas throughout the workplace, such as near desks, in common areas and near break rooms.
- Label bins clearly: Clearly label recycling bins with signs that indicate what can and cannot be recycled, to reduce contamination and confusion.
- Reduce waste: Encourage employees to reduce waste by using reusable cups, plates, and utensils, and by avoiding any single use plastics.
- Partner with recycling organisations: Partner with a local recycling organisation to ensure that your recycling programme is up to date and following best practices.
- Measure progress: Set goals and track progress to see how much waste is being diverted from landfills and identify areas of improvement.
By implementing these practices, you can help create a workplace culture that values recycling and sustainability and contributes to a more circular economy.
Author: Carla de Jesus