Author: Desislava Georgieva
Published On: 11/08/2023

When a person is convinced that they want to recycle, they will find a way to do it. If you’re already sure you’re going to change your family’s waste habits, here’s what you need to do:

On each package (or just the outermost one), mark with symbols – a) the material it is made of and b) whether the package is separable. Note whether there are other symbols – such as for hazardous waste, which prohibits separate disposal in coloured containers but requires separate collection and disposal.

Provide bins/bags for separate collection of packaging waste at home – two or three depending on the separate collection system in place.

If we want, we will do it

Recyclable plastic packaging is:

o Code 1, PET: Soft drink, alcoholic beverage and mineral water bottles, cleaning detergent packaging, transparent packaging film.

o Code 2, HDPE: Bags, crates, pallets, detergent packaging.

o Code 3, PVC: Detergent packaging.

o Code 4, LDPE: Nylon bags, sacks and other envelopes

o Code 5, PP: More rigid boxes, takeaway food delivery

o Plastics from other codes are less likely to be recycled.

Which ones should we wash?

When a person is convinced that they want to recycle, they will find a way to do it. If you’re already sure you’re going to change your family’s waste habits, here’s what you need to do:

On each package (or just the outermost one), mark with symbols – a) the material it is made of and b) whether the package is separable. Note whether there are other symbols – such as

To optimise the recovery process, it is important that packaging is disposed of correctly in the yellow and green separate collection containers. Plastic packaging should be disposed of in the yellow container, which applies to: cosmetic and food cans, yoghurt buckets (marked with a recycling code), plastic bottles of drinks, bottles and tubes of detergents and cleaning products, bottles and tubes of shampoos, conditioners and other cosmetic products, plastic caps.

Before we dispose of plastic packaging, we need to empty the contents, rinse them, crush the PET bottles, which will reduce their volume.

Heavily contaminated packaging, tubes of car oil, packaging containing hazardous chemicals marked as hazardous waste, flower pots, toys, technical plastics (from electrical appliances) and electrical appliances should not be disposed of in the separate collection containers.

Yellow container – plastic, paper and metal

A specialised truck transports the contents to a pre-treatment site where the waste goes through three phases.

Separation of non-packaging waste, segregation of packaging according to whether or not it is recyclable and sorting of suitable materials.

The final step is the baling of the various recyclable materials, after which they continue their life in the relevant processing plants.

In detail

Plastics are sorted by type and colour. At the plant, they are ground, washed and dried until they become granules that are used to make new plastic products, packaging, carpets, etc.

What to dispose of in the yellow bin

Paper and cardboard packaging: boxes, cartons, paper envelopes;

printed materials: newspapers, magazines, office paper;

plastic or metal packaging from food, drinks, cosmetics and cleaning products: bottles, cans, tubes, etc.;

plastic and metal caps from jars and bottles;

stretch film;

pallets and crates;

metal containers and objects.

What not to throw away

Soiled or oily packaging (e.g. pizza boxes or half-empty tins of fish);

Toilet paper, tissues and nappies and other sanitary materials;

Hazardous waste (medicine blisters, packaging from paints, varnishes, machine oils and other harmful substances and their packaging)

household appliances, car parts, etc;

waste that is not paper, plastic or metal;

household and food waste, construction, sanitary and hygiene materials

cigarette butts;

“paper” cups;

wallpaper;

car filters.

Important for disposal:

Ensure packaging is empty;

Cartons and boxes should be dismantled and folded, plastic bottles crushed;

Larger cartons: to be placed folded next to the bin, preferably the day before service.

The recycled paper route

The bales of waste paper are ground in a grinder with water and chemicals until a thick pulp is obtained. This is cleaned of any adhesives, inks or contaminants, then spread over wide sheets and pressed onto heated metal rolls. This is how recycled paper is made. It is used to make boxes, cartons cups notebooks and many other products.

Metal

Steel is usually formed into ingots and aluminium into sheets. Each of these materials is melted in a separate furnace, then purified and cooled. The resulting recycled metal is used to make parts for various machines, bicycles, appliances, building components, etc.

Glass

Glass is sorted by colour and transported to a recycling plant. There it is crushed, mixed with silica sand, silica, soda, lime, etc. This mixture is melted and shaped into new glass packaging.

Which of the everyday use cannot be recycled

Plastic bags;

Juice cans – these are made up of several components that cannot

disposable paper cups are only seemingly made of paper, inside they have a layer of plastic;

oil bottles;

crisp packets, greasy pizza boxes and food.

Sometimes less is better

Trying to buy goods with less packaging, by the kilo from the market, bringing a shopping bag… there are many things we can do with a little effort to have less packaging to recycle and separate. Turning our backs on convenience for the sake of a clean environment may not be on the agenda of many, but we all have to start somewhere (those who don’t), or continue bravely, dragging our loved ones along the way.

be separated;

 

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