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Plastic-Free July: Recycling 101

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When you start trying to go Zero waste, starting the Plastic free july challenge or just making a step towards an eco-friendly journey, you might be tempted to toss all plastics in the trash. But you should know that not all types of Plastic is everywhere! Odds are you have accumulated a ton of plastic in your lifetime. From plastic Tupperware in the kitchen to toys for your kids.

The basis of an eco lifestyle is to use what you have and reduce your consumption. Using up the plastics already in your home is the best way rather than throwing and buying more. 

Types of plastic

  • High- Density Polyethylene (HDPE) (Recyclable)

Pipes, plastic crates, shampoo bottles

  • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PC) (polyester) (Recyclable)

Bottles, shoes, textiles, pillow stuffing (Most Commonly Used)

  • Low- Density Polyethylene (LDPE) (Recyclable)

Garbage Cans, orthotics, prosthetics

  • Polypropylene (PP) (Not Recycled)

Containers, medical devices

  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) (Only 1% is Recycled)

Bags, Jackets

  • Polystyrene (PS) (Not Recycled)

Straw, Lab equipments

So Wait. If 4 types of plastics are recyclable, then why don’t we? According to UNEP Statistics, only 9% of the plastic produced is recycled. 

Local Recycling

Futhermore recycling material is an essential part of sustainable living, most cities in the country have some recycling facility. Recycling centres are specially equipped with units to identify and segregate plastic for recycling.  Initiatives like SWaCH, a Pune based organisation that organises waste pickers and collects the waste from the houses themself. They recycle 70,000 tonnes of waste annually and provide employment to the local community. 

There are also initiatives such as mobile refilling centres, that help reuse the plastic waste in the form of containers. Even when we choose a recycling unit for our plastic waste, it’s necessary that we keep in mind the waste generated by us when we access that place.

Initiatives in India

There are many companies in India which specialise in recycling and have been taking a lot of initiative towards a green planet.

Recykal is a digital technology company that connects Waste Generators like Businesses, Consumers, Waste Aggregators, Recyclers and enables transactions between them with transparency and traceability. 

RaddiConnect is a Waste Management service in Mumbai that provides a doorstep pick-up service, free of cost from institutions, offices, households and schools to dispose off their recyclable waste. 

GEM Enviro Management collects polyethylene terephthalate (PET) waste from factories, offices, hotels, and institutes, and recycles them into products suoh as T-shirts, caps, and bags.

Plastics for Change, RecycleX, Saahas Zero Waste, The Shakti Plastic Industries, Trash con labs, Kabadiwala, Phabio Enterprises, Polycycl, EcoEx, RecycleX are similar companies all over india who have been doing an amazing job to enable a sustainable method of disposing products.

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