Should we burn what cannot be recycled? Part II

    28 May 2021

    In a previous publication, we’ve borrowed a few facts from O-Zero posts about how incinerators work and what the consequences of their activities are. Let’s continue.

    A simple and affordable “burn everything” service creates a market for new plants, doesn’t reduce waste and contributes to global warming.

    Actually, incineration is the only option for disposing of medical, construction and hazardous waste. However, this does not mean that it can be open for personal disposal.

    If you also come to the conclusion that incineration is not a solution, you can reduce its need as follows:

    Buy only what can be recycled

    By choosing products in disposable packaging, you immediately create the need for its disposal. There are few options: landfill or incineration. Avoiding disposable plastic boxes, forks and spoons, cups, tubes and bags prevents contamination.

    So, if there is no illiquid plastic – there is no need to burn it.

    Use reusable utensils and accessories

    “What to use instead of all this stuff?”, you may ask.

    The answer is “all that is reusable and durable”.

    Instead of bags, choose fabric bags.

    Instead of coffee “with you”, take a few minutes in a cafe with your own ceramic cup.

    Buy food in your own reusable boxes.

    Vote using your wallet

    When buying sauce in a glass, we tell the manufacturer that we are more interested in such packaging than “doypack”. If 50 or 100 people make this choice, the manufacturer will see it.

    Be skeptical

    Ask questions, research, disseminate information. What are these plants? How will they affect our health and our nature?

    It’s we who will start the changes

    There’s no point in waiting for the authorities to change the laws or call for sorting of secondary raw materials. Because the government works for the needs of the population. And if the population says that the production of disposable plastic needs to be banned – the authorities will work in this direction. If communities call for organic composting, composting stations will be set up.

    There’s no time to wait until someone solves the problem of garbage – we must abandon it now.

    Different types of waste

    Raw materials that can be recycled are good, and more environmentally friendly raw materials that can be recycled are super cool!

    Ecological raw materials are those that can be recycled several times and they do not lose their value and properties; or one that can be reworked.

    So how many times can you process this or that faction?

    * Plastic can be recycled 2-3 times. After the plastic is no longer suitable for the processing process, it is used to produce a synthetic material, which can then only be sent for high-temperature combustion.

    * Glass is a faction that lives forever. Recycled an unlimited number of times. The main thing is to divide by color and separate from each other.

    * Metal, like glass, has infinite life, but is also commercially viable. An excellent example of ecological raw materials.

    * Waste paper can be recycled up to seven times. With each processing, its quality deteriorates, less and less pulp and long fibers remain. The final type of product is papier-mâché (egg boxes, coffee coasters and appliances). Papier-mâché can only become papier-mâché in the future.

    Therefore, when choosing products, buy the ones that are the most environmentally friendly and suitable for recycling. Instead of a white PET1 bottle – choose a transparent or tetrapack, instead of plastic – choose metal and so on.

    And what do you choose?

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