In today’s increasingly environmentally-conscious world, it is the responsibility of everyone to ensure we minimise needless waste by recycling and reusing as much as possible. However, this doesn’t just extend to reusing the same plastic bags when you conduct your weekly supermarket shop, popping unwanted batteries in a supermarket bin, or collecting your glass, paper, aluminium and plastic for collection.
You may not know that there is a huge list of materials that can be recycled, thus reducing the pressure we place on the environment – and this list is getting longer all of the time. From your morning brew to your playlist, there are ways to make sure the kit that gets you through the day also gets into the right recycling facility—so here are three recent additions to the inventory of items we all can and should recycle in our daily lives.
1. Cigarette Butts
Around the world, trillions of used cigarette butts are tossed into ashtrays, rubbish bins, alleyways and bodies of water. Not only are they an eyesore, they are also damaging to our environment by leaking chemicals into water supplies or being ingested by animals.
In an effort to clean up our streets and our atmosphere at the same time, environmentally-innovative start-up company Terracycle founded its cigarette disposal programme in 2014.
The scheme allows smokers to send in sealable plastic bags to the recycling plant free of charge by printing off a postage label. This way, Terracycle hopes to circumnavigate some of the 845,000 tonnes of cigarette butts which are processed by waste disposal companies every year.
Plus, for every pound of waste collected, the company behind the programme has pledged to donate $1 to the Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention Programme.
2. Single-Serve Coffee Pods
When you think of recyclable materials, you might not immediately think of your espresso machine at home. However, after a deal signed earlier this year by those fine chaps at Terracycle (yes, them again) and Blue Earth Environmental, it’s now possible to put all that caffeine to good use.
Last year alone, 9.8 billion coffee pods were sold around the globe. That’s quite a staggering figure! Indeed, it’s enough to circle the globe 10 times, if laid end to end. Obviously, there is great potential in recycling such a widely used substance, and through this partnership, coffee pods from major retailers such as Tassimo and Nespresso can now be reused again and again.
Even better, the profits go straight to local charities and non-profit organisations of Blue Earth Environmental’s choosing.
3. Apple Gadgets
Earlier this year, Greenpeace named Apple as the leading business in its Clean Energy Index (CIE), a program designed to rate tech companies on their approach to sustainable and clean practices. As well as scoring an “A” in every category of Greenpeace’s index, Apple was also the only company to produce 100% of their energy from renewable means.
Furthermore, Apple also recently rolled out an extensive recycling system which allows users to reprocess any Apple product, free of charge. The company has been offering monetary compensation for old, unwanted iPods and iPhones for some years, but their latest recycling program now extends the opportunity for free recycling for any product in their entire range.
Bravo Apple! You teacher’s pet, you.