Recycling: Back to basics

Georgia ‘Salsa’ breaks down the basics of recycling to remind us what can and can’t be recycled and what happens to our recycling.

While the world is slowly becoming more aware and proactive about sustainability and ways to protect the environment, recycling is one of the simple and basic practices you can master in your household to do your bit towards lowering your carbon footprint. By recycling correctly, you are conserving natural resources and saving energy, which all contributes to helping protect the earth.

What a lot of people aren’t aware of is what actually happens to your recycled goods once they are collected. All items get sorted and separated, with wrong ite­ms getting removed by hand; things such as plastic bags, clothing and food scraps. Then there is an automated facility for separating, with metal items removed by magnets and optical scanners identifying different types of plastic. Once sorted, the items are sent to various locations.

Glass is recycled here in New Zealand, mainly turned into bottles and jars. Paper and cardboard are also often recycled here in New Zealand, which is made into things such as newsprint, writing paper, egg cartons and fruit trays. Our plastic is sent to Australia and Southeast Asia, where it is turned into just about anything plastic can be turned into!

While the idea is not new to most Kiwis, it is important to be recycling correctly, so if you need a refresher on the do’s and don’ts, we’ve got you covered!

You can recycle packaging from your laundry, kitchen and bathroom, including plastic bottles and containers, glass bottles and jars, tins and cans, and paper and cardboard. Things to avoid include clothing food scraps and garden waste. Make The Most of Your Waste are an amazing online resource that will answer all your questions on recycling in New Zealand, check out their in depth, easy to follow guide on what you can and can’t recycle here.

Recycling is an easy and worthwhile habit to develop. Alongside with other practices such as composting, you can lower your annual landfill contribution massively!

Meet the Expert

Georgia ‘Salsa’

Born and raised in Christchurch, Georgia ‘Salsa’ has been a plant based foodie for six years and loves it, especially creating meals with seasonal veggies and trying different cuisines and dishes centred around plant based foods. Georgia is also passionate about sustainability and knowing where the food she eats comes from. Thai food is her ultimate favourite, and she can’t say no to a good pad Thai! She loves getting outdoors and exploring our beautiful backyard whenever she can, or sitting at home with a good book and cuppa.

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