Increase Recycling Rates ♻️: many individuals are unaware that humans produce 3000 million tonnes of plastics per year, approximately 5 million tonnes will end up in our oceans. The importance of increasing recycling rates is essential as this ongoing issue impacts our environment and well-being.

There are many ways to increase recycling awareness, even the smallest changes have a massive impact on the environment. I will start by listing 5 simple changes we can implement within our daily life’s to support the environment, become eco-friendly and save a fortune.

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Steps to take to increase recycling rates


1. Listen, coffee addicts! It’s time to increase our recycling rates.

This one is for all the Caffeine addicts including myself! Did you know that our usual morning coffee runs are affecting our planet? Were you aware that the coffee cups we purchase from our favourite café’s are made from a mixture of paper and plastic, they contain a plastic lining which is made from polyethylene in order to be able to pour the liquid inside and make the cups waterproof.

This, therefore, makes it impossible to recycle along with other paper products and unable to biodegrade. How can we get through the morning without coffee though? There’s always a solution to become eco-friendly, increase recycling rates and continue our daily routine, coffee cups can be easily replaced with reusable keep cups, these are reusable, eco-friendly and will impact benefit the environment excessively.


The solution?

Many coffee shops now offer 10 per cent off for those who use reusable keep cups, I have only discovered this myself and I’ve already saved 8 coffee purchases with my 10% discount per coffee. This is an amazing way to increase recycling awareness, why not save money and the environment at the same time? It’s best to acknowledge people who are unaware of the impact of using coffee cups in order to increase recycling rates.


2. Ditch the straws, please

Straws may seem harmless. However, they are known to be the worst culprits in environmental damage. Who doesn’t love sipping on a smoothie or orange juice with a straw? It doesn’t seem like a big deal as it’s a simple drink accessory. But just like coffee cups, it causes excessive harm to the environment as it ends up in landfill and our waterways as it does not biodegrade. It takes hundreds, sometimes thousands of years for plastics to break down.

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The harm

That’s right! Those plastic harmless straws we’ve thrown out throughout the years most likely still exist. If you think that’s shocking, as they decompose, they leach harmful gases such as methane into the environment. Unfortunately, due to lack of awareness, most cafes, bars and restaurants even place two straws in drinks. This is just doubling the amount of damage we’re causing the environment.

I previously read an article that Kasey Turner (an Australian diver) was snorkelling on Manly Beach and discovered 319 straws in the ocean within the first 20 minutes. What’s worse is that within 24 hours time, she discovered another 294 straws located in the same location. Ways to increase recycling awareness and increase recycling rates is simple – ditch the plastic straws and ask yourself, “do I need to drink your water with a straw?”

I have recently discovered eco-friendly bamboo straws which are reusable, recyclable, cost-effective most importantly biodegradable.


3. Bottled water, not an option

It’s quite common to see individuals holding bottled water without being aware of the environmental impact those bottles are causing. The consumption of bottled water has increased greatly within the past decade. Many people often have a perception that bottled water is tastier, healthier and much more convenient than tap water.

Yes, water is definitely healthy. However, disposable water bottles mostly contain chemicals that may lead to asthma and dizziness. In some cases, they may even increase the risk of breast cancer. We often see bottled water getting recycled. Although they’re recyclable, plastic bottles can be produced from virgin polyethylene terephthalate and can contain non-renewable fossil fuels.


ways to increase recycling awareness

Go reusable

By purchasing a non-plastic bottle, not only are you becoming eco-friendly, you’re saving a tonne of fortune, too! It is essential to encourage others to use non-plastic bottles as a way to increase recycling awareness. Most people are unaware that plastic bottles dumped in the ocean kill approximately 1.1 million marine creatures annually. By increasing recycling rates, we’re saving animals, being cost-effective and saving the planet.


4. Plastic bags – no, no, no!

We’re all aware of the recent changes in plastic bags at our local grocery stores. They have introduced eco-friendly cloth bags that are a one-time purchase of $1, that’s right! Only $1 for shopping that can be used for years whilst grocery shopping.

You would think that these recent changes of charging customers for plastic bags would reduce the usage of plastic bags. Quite truthfully, yes, it has decreased the use of plastic bags excessively. However, many of us tend to lack the habit of re-using our own bags and don’t mind spending a few cents on a new one.

One way to increase recycling awareness is to look into the cost-cost effective aspect long term. Not only is it cost-effective, but it also increases recycling rates and saves the environment greatly. Unfortunately, animals are greatly affected by the use of plastic bags.

Plastic bags disrupt the environment, as they tend to release toxic chemicals and break down within the soil, which the animals then eat the plastic bags causing them to choke and die.


5. Finally, we get to avoiding chewing gum

We’ve all used gum as a breath refresher or just chew gum out of habit, but did you know where that gum ends up once it’s run out of flavour? Have you ever walked on the streets and discovered your shoe picking up used gum from the pavement? 90 per cent of the time, chewing up is not disposed of properly.

Chewing gum is made up of synthetic ingredients including polyvinyl acetate, which does not biodegrade. Once it’s tossed on the sidewalk, it’s can sit there and last up to hundreds of years as the process of removing it is costly and time-consuming. Unfortunately due to many individuals being unaware of the environmental impact chewing gum can cause, it has found its way into our food chain. Studies reveal that chewing gum dumped in the ocean has been found in our fish, which can accumulate toxins within time.

In order to increase recycling rates, we are now able to purchase sustainable chewing gum. This product is a way to increase recycling awareness. They’re natural, biodegradable and taste delicious!


Conclusion on ways to increase recycling rates

These are 5 simple changes we can implement in our daily life’s to increase recycling rates, why is it so important to increase recycling rates? If you don’t care about the environment or make sustainable choices, the environment will become polluted with chemicals, contaminants and toxins.

These not only affect the environment but also affect our well-being. Let’s put it this way – when the earth is ill, humans get ill. Of course, we are sustained by air and we can’t live without water. There are many ways to increase recycling awareness, we must remember to reduce, reuse and recycle, these simple steps increase recycling rates. As Paul McCartney quotes, “Out of all those millions and millions of planets floating around there in space, this is our planet, this is our little one, so we just got to be aware of it and take care of it.” – Paul McCartney.


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