Recycle week takes place yearly and is Zero Waste Scotland’s celebration of recycling across Scotland. It is one week where businesses, local authorities, schools, the public sector and many more come together to champion recycling and waste reduction.
To mark the occasion, Go Green – RGU’s student sustainability group – have some hints and tips to prevent and reduce waste going to landfill.
As much as ten times more environmental value can be gained through waste prevention than waste recovery and recycling – so consider the following:
- Do you really need the item? Don’t buy it unless you really need it.
- Buy in bulk to reduce packaging.
- Can you buy a less harmful product? i.e. one with more recycled content? One without packaging?
- Buy second-hand and donate used goods. Heard of Kaim Shop in RGU:Union? Check it out!
- Carry a reusable bag with you for shopping.
- Can the item be repaired or reused?
- Take a reusable bottle/cup for water/coffee rather than accepting a disposable one.
- Scan and send rather than photocopying.
- Swap your toothbrush – Go Green have bamboo ones at Kaim Shop – and save old ones for cleaning.
- Cut up and use old t-shirts as cloths in the kitchen.
The final step is to recycle. It is preferable to maintain the value of a resource as long as possible, that means recycling products into a new product of the same/similar function, rather than a lower quality product.
We’ve got a list of simple things you can do to help:
Find out what you can recycle in your area. Use Zero Waste Scotland’s Recycling sorter:
Which bin can be used for recycling?
Individual bins for your household
|BLACK – Non-Recyclable Waste|
|DARK GREY – Paper, Card, Plastics, Metals, Cartons, Glass|
|BROWN – Food & Garden Waste|
Shared bins with other neighbours
|BLACK – Non-Recyclable Waste|
|BLUE LID – Paper, Card, Plastics, Metals, Cartons, Glass|
|BROWN – Food Waste Only|
What do logos mean on your products?
Can be sorted, processed, and recycled by 75% or more of UK local authorities. If your item is plastic check the type – see below for advice.
Cans and lids under 40mm are too small to be captured for recycling. If you see this label, put the lid back on when recycling.
Some packaging contents need to be separated. The film or liner cannot easily be recycled so must be removed before the rest of the packaging can be recycled.
Applied to packaging collected by less than 50% of local authorities. If you are not sure if the item can be recycled check! If you are still not sure, DO NOT RECYCLE – ‘wishcycling’ can contaminate waste streams.
All plastics should be marked with one of the following symbols:
Items 6 and 7 are not widely recycled or require specialist recycling facilities and may be taken at household waste and recycling centres – best to check!
The Mobius loop merely states the object is capable of being recycled but will not necessarily be accepted at recycling centres.
The green dot does not necessarily mean the packaging is recyclable, will be recycled or has been recycled. It merely means the manufacturer has made a financial contribution toward recycling in Europe.
Sort out recycling
- Fold and flatten boxes and carboard and keep them dry!
- Rinse bottles, jars, and plastics to ensure they’re clean.
- Squash plastics and cartons.
If you cannot recycle the packet, change the product you’re using to a recyclable one.
About Go Green
Sustainability is a key priority for us students at Go Green. Our aim is to spread the word about environmental topics and make sustainability more accessible for RGU students.
- BikePad: Bike hire and free bike services for students.
- Kaim Shop: On-campus second-hand shop where you can donate/get clothes, household items, and stationary.
- Climate Action Network: Increases climate literacy and works with the university to improve the sustainability.
- Gardening group: Makes gardening accessible to RGU students without a garden.
Volunteer with us today! Go Green is always looking for volunteers and participants for our ongoing and future projects, as well as for one-off activities.
Union website: https://www.rguunion.co.uk/getinvolved/groups/gogreen/