What actually gets recycled in Canada?

Recycling rates in Canada

New ways to recycle and new ways to talk about it are constantly emerging. Recycling is a simple practice that we can all do in our daily lives and should not be limited to the original “reuse, reduce and recycle” formula. Here is a summary of the steps to take your commitment to sustainability to the next level:

City council and NGO websites, news in the press or blogs specializing in environmentally related topics are excellent sources of ideas on how to make your consumption more responsible. From information on how to recycle correctly, to innovative initiatives for saving resources and sustainability fairs, there is information for all tastes. Here are some ideas to guide you in adopting more sustainable habits for our planet:

2. Reuse: look for thrift stores, flea markets, etc. If they are clothes or shoes in good condition, you can take them to the recycling containers distributed around the city. In the case of food, the app Too Good to Go can be a good alternative to save food that has not been sold by catering establishments. Encantado de comerte and La colmena says they do fulfill the same function, but they are focused on local supermarkets and grocery stores, which have leftover food.

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Environmental issues in canada 2021

Before it became a trend – and what a positive trend it was – recycling already existed. Who didn’t inherit some clothes from younger siblings or bequeath some of their elders’ garments? Of course, in reality it’s all about reuse first, and recycling only in the case that those pieces have required alterations. But the idea is the same: not wasting and taking advantage of what we already have is a behavior that we all once had very internalized.

In a global view, it is impossible to talk about recycling without mentioning the first municipal garbage dump in Western history, which is due to the Greeks, who not only invented yogurt (joke, this food appeared first in Mesopotamia), but also dictated local laws, back in 500 BC, to dispose of waste at least one mile (1.6 km) outside the city walls. No doubt the Athenians thought twice before throwing anything in the garbage.

During the Victorian era, the first professional recyclers appeared in England, who were in charge of collecting the dust and ashes generated by domestic fires. It is estimated that in the 1850s the average amount of coal burned per household in London reached 11 tons per year. The great expansion of the city generated a great demand for coal ash by industry to generate bricks. In addition, the food and agricultural industries used these wastes as fertilizer for crops.

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What Canada does with its garbage

Recycling and circularity must be prerequisites for packaging. A circular economy depends on sustainable recycling value chains, which ensure that cartons are collected, sorted and recycled in practice and at scale.

Recyclability and prevention of leakage during packaging to the environment has become the main sustainability requirement with respect to packaging and is defining what type of packaging will be used in the coming decades. Definitions of recyclability developed by key stakeholders and influencers are moving from “technical recyclability” to “proven recycling in practice and at scale”.

A well-functioning recycling value chain helps to avoid waste generation, save resources and reduce climate impact. To ensure that our recycling initiatives are aligned across our business activities, since 2018, we established dedicated teams as part of a global sustainability function with more than 50 experts around the world. Their role is to continue to develop one of our greatest assets, our practical knowledge and experience in developing recycling value chains, and use it to scale up collection and recycling of packaging in non-legislated countries.

Recycling companies in Canada

Hence its benefit to the environment, as Ranjit Baxi, president and founder of the Global Recycling Foundation, explains: “We are talking about a collective effort and a crucial issue for the future of the planet because no one can act in isolation. It is imperative that we involve the broadest possible population, from world leaders to businesses to individuals, no matter where they are located.”

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There are three main types. Primary, or closed-loop, recycling turns materials into more of the same, such as paper into more paper or soda cans into more soda cans. Secondary recycling transforms a discarded product into other objects, albeit made from the same material. And tertiary or chemical recycling chemically decomposes the materials to produce something very different.

The recycling of glass, paper or plastic also removes from circulation an enormous amount of waste that would otherwise end up in landfills, whether controlled or uncontrolled. These huge accumulations of waste, which stain the map of both developed and developing countries, produce emissions of methane, another potent GHG, and contaminate soil and groundwater.