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Waste VS. Recycling: what can we do

Waste VS. Recycling: what can we do

Waste VS. Recycling: what can we do


Lumisa Saving 5


As you know, in Lumisa we are aware of the need to follow a sustainable rhythm of life with the environment because we believe that we must take care of our home.

In addition, we are convinced that our public shares these values ​​with us and that is why we launched the option of taking advantage of self-consumption, of which we are very proud and for which more people bet every day. However, the United States environmental agency published in 2018 that only 8.7% of all plastics produced worldwide are recycled. Although in Europe the problem has not worsened so much thanks to the recycling system implemented, it is a fact that allows us to see that the general trend does not go hand in hand with that sustainable future we are talking about and for which we work.

What is recycling? Recycle: Putting a used material through a process so that it can be reused. RAE.

Recycling has gone from being one more option to a necessity. On May 17, World Recycling Day was celebrated, a date selected by UNESCO with the aim of raising awareness about the need for better waste management to avoid damaging the environment and not contributing to climate change. The latest data published by the INE indicate that in 2018 the Spanish economy generated about 138 million tonnes of waste, representing an increase of 4.3% with respect to the data of the previous year. Although the percentage in the domestic sphere does not reach 20% of the total, this represents figures that exceed 22 million, a slight increase.

Waste by activity sectors and households 2018 (2020)

Source: INE (2020). Cuentas medioambientales. Cuentas de los resiudos. Año 2018. Taken from: https://www.ine.es/prensa/cma_2018_res.pdf 

Looking at these data we can realize that we continue to generate a large amount of waste that must be reduced and must be properly managed. Mismanagement of waste leads to numerous examples of contamination that would well be avoidable:

  • Air, land and water pollution resulting in highly harmful effects on its environment, flora and fauna.
  • A high unnecessary energy cost to manufacture new products that could have been recycled or reused and that increase the carbon footprint.
  • Expenditure on natural resources that leads to their disappearance for daily consumption.
  • Negative effects on human health caused by climate change.

How to recicle

There is a Chinese proverb that says, "The longest journey begins with a small step," which means that all great change comes through small actions. Taking it to our field, the first step to reduce waste is to see what we can do individually about it.

As we explained at the beginning, a good option is to bet on energy self-consumption, for two reasons: you contribute to reducing consumption derived from electricity generation, in the short term and it allows you to save in the medium and long term. Check the simulator and see for yourself, you will see what we mean.

Recycling containers allow us to separate the garbage so that its subsequent disintegration is easier and avoid greater energy expenditure. Non-profit companies such as Ecoembes manufacture containers with the plastic that can be recycled from the blue and yellow containers.

Illustration recycling equivalences Ecoembes

Source: Ecoembes. Equivalencias y datos. Recycle equivalences. Taken from: https://www.ecoembes.com/es/ciudadanos/envases-y-proceso-reciclaje/como-reciclar-bien/equivalencias-y-datos

You may be following a movement or philosophy of life without knowing it. Zero Waste is a way of life that consists of minimizing the waste and garbage that we generate daily. Doing so doesn't seem complicated:

  • Refuse what you don't need, for example, take your cloth bag to go shopping.
  • Reduce consumption. Switch to buying in bulk (to save bags) or purchase products without single-use packaging.
  • Reuse. Retro clothing has been in fashion for a few years, so take advantage of the excuse and, by avoiding the purchase of new garments, you will be failing to contribute to the energy expenditure and raw materials that are needed in the manufacturing processes. There are more gestures for this purpose, such as reusing the bottles, switching to the use of the menstrual cup instead of traditional products.
  • Repair everything you can, from clothes, sewing that hole in your pants, to electronic products, if you have a little hand for these issues.
  • Recycle everything that cannot pass through the 3R filter (reject, reduce and reuse). For this, there are recycling bins to differentiate the garbage at home and then take it to the aforementioned containers, although other products such as batteries and bat must also be recycled.
  • Put organic waste to one last use, for example by creating compost for plants.

The production of fuels isn't considered “#recycling” by the #EU, but other global regions still struggle with the impact of this false solution.

This @GAIAnoburn, @ChangingMarkets and ZWE video unpacks adverse effects currently downplayed by the industry. #GlobalRecyclingDay https://t.co/8fTbcMzEog

— Zero Waste Europe (@zerowasteeurope) 17 de mayo de 2021

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