Zero Waste is a concept that has entered our lives in the last 10 years. Many people who dream of a healthy planet, of course, come across this definition somewhere. Even more, interestingly, is how it came into existence. When humans realised that nature was destabilising, people saw that the future was not looking bright, and they discovered this magnificent map while searching for a new method!
Recycling is one of the five basic principles of this Zero Waste Life principle. Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot.
Recycling comes into play where the first three options (Reject, Reduce and Reuse) are not applicable. The main purpose in a Zero Waste Life is not to increase recycling, but to reduce it. Many things that we throw into the bin after use, are actually a raw material for new products. In general, materials suitable for recycling are chemical wastes, paper, plastic, batteries, organic wastes, iron, wood, metal and textile products.
When we look at the data on this issue around the world, according to the studies of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Germans decompose and recycle 65% of their waste. On the other hand, they use fuel that cannot be recycled again and produce new products with different designs. They coded bins and waste materials in colour. If you have metal – glass – paper, etc., it is almost impossible to accidentally dispose of it in another bin because each has a separate colour code! So, the Germans are the world champions in recycling.
According to data from the European Environment Agency (EEA), other European countries Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden recycle at least 50% of their waste and a large portion of it is reused. South Korea, following Germany’s recycling efforts, uses 59% of its waste for recycling.
Another good example is that in Europe for more than 50 years, the Reverse Vending Machine, which is usually in the supermarket, has been in use with the principle of collecting empty beverage cans and returning the cash deposit to the consumer. You can get a cash deposit when you return all kinds of plastic and metal boxes. You can find these recycling machines in any food store. You put your bottles in the machine, you get a voucher in return, and you can use it to pay in cash or cash it out. In Sweden, there is even a game room with plastic bottles. In Japan and in many countries, public transport tickets such as the subway can be purchased from these vending machines.
In addition, 100 acres of trees are cut down per minute, as we are still unable to implement enough recycling for the entire world. At the same time, an average of 2 kg of waste per person per day is produced in the world, which amounts to about 1.5 tonnes per year. If we can imagine that these are not recycled, it is not hard to see that we will leave a world full of litter for future generations.
As Aster Textile Group, we will tell what innovation we are developing in this field in another article.