Are you guilty of WISHCYCLING?
So here we are, on Global Recycling Day 2022, being encouraged to recycle like mad and play our part to reduce waste, our plastic use and to lead more sustainable lives. But it’s not as simple as that. By wanting to do our bit, sometimes we can be unintentionally causing more waste by recycling the wrong things.
But don't give up. The desire to increase what we recycle can lead to ill-informed decisions about what can and cannot be recycled and we can easily put non-recyclable items in the recycling bin. This practice is what is known as wishcycling, and it's a significant issue in the waste management industry today.
It's also known as aspirational recycling, it boils down to the idea that we think that most things can be recycled if they have some paper or plastic in them. Plus if we just put them into a recycling bin, surely someone will recycle it or put it into another bin? This is not the case because simply not everything is recyclable.
The problem is that wishcycling creates more waste. If non-recyclable materials get mixed with recyclable materials, then the recyclable items may not be recycled. Often, large loads of items become so contaminated that the entire batch must be discarded and incinerated or added to landfill. Plus, as an added danger, wishcycling can also damage recycling machinery.
All is not lost, don't stop recycling! Here we have put together a list to remind you of what can and cannot be recycled.
And our best tip of the day on recycling?