We’ve all been told that plastic is a material that we should recycle, but have you ever been correctly guided on how to recycle at home, at school or at work? To encourage more South Africans to recycle, Polyco PRO (Plastics Responsibility Organisation) NPC, has launched its Million+ How to Recycle series: user-friendly content in the form of a step by step guide that advises users on recycling best practices, whether you are at home, work, or school.
“We are aiming at getting more that one million South Africans to recycle their used plastic packaging,” says Nicola Rowe, Brand Manager at Polyco. “Our new How to Recycle series had been designed to be a user-friendly and easily accessible guide to get people started.”
Depending on whether you would like to start your recycling journey at home, work or at school, Polyco’s How to Recycle guide will clearly take you through each step.
As a committed consumer, your first step is to shop for items that can be recycled. Packaging is always marked with a recycling symbol (a triangle) that indicates whether it can be recycled. Your second step is to set up your home bin system that clearly separates plastic recycling from general waste. It is also important to keep your recyclables clean. Before collection, the next step is to place all recyclable material into clear bags. Non-recyclable waste should go into the standard black refuse bags. Lastly, make sure that your clear recycling bags are placed outside only on the days that recycling is collected in your area. Alternatively, drop your recycling off at the nearest local depot.
Recycling at school should involve your peers. Be the recycling champion that drives an eco-club that oversees all classroom recycling. Appoint classroom recycling reps to record what is being thrown away and what is being recycled. Polyco has designed a full classroom checklist to help you implement recycling efforts at schools. An important step to complete your school’s recycling programme is to partner with a recycling collection service nearby.
Starting a recycling programme at work will need buy-in from all your colleagues and from management. Start by conducting a waste audit to determine how much waste is produced, where the most is produced and how much of these volumes can be recycled. With the complete picture, approach your colleagues to get their ideas and buy-in. Once you have the commitment of your colleagues, start engaging other important stakeholders, like the facility management and local waste management service providers. Once all the important stakeholders have been informed, put your waste audit findings and recycling targets into an organisational recycling plan. Once the recycling plan has been implemented, speak to your recycling collection company about how they will report on the waste and recycling volumes collected each week.
The How to Recycle series is available on Polyco’s Million+ website with easy to navigate tabs and content sections that have been adapted according to where a user would like to start recycling. “Understanding the potential of digital platforms, we opted to create an engaging website experience that can clearly guide you, whether you would like to start recycling at home, work or school,” says Rowe. “A website user will select their desired recycling location and be directed to the relevant guide. Each guide provides information on the benefits of recycling, where to start, what materials to recycle, and information on how to find collection services and nearest drop off points. We will also be developing this further in future.”
“If the guide can encourage one person to start a recycling campaign at school or work, this may encourage friends and family to start their own. Action spreads through word-of-mouth and Million+ is based on this concept. If each person encourages another to start recycling, we can drive a recycling revolution in South Africa that will eventually put an end to plastic in the natural environment.”