Recycling has become the eco-solution to our obsessive consumer society. It gives us the peace of mind that we can continue to consume and purchase products because we can recycle them when we’re finished with them.
Whilst this is positive and recycling is a solution, it also opens us up to a world of bad purchasing habits. Rather than relying on recycling, we should also be focusing our efforts on reducing the amount of waste we create. If we simply recycle everything, we are likely to use new resources each time we purchase that item again. Yes, it’s better than sending things to the landfill, but it should not be the first port of call when doing what we can to help the environment.
Is recycling bad?
Recycling isn’t bad, however as with anything, it does have its downsides. Recycling has been a staple of sustainable living for decades, but it actually has its own waste footprint. It still requires energy and resources as in order to be recycled, materials need to be transported, broken down and processed, and finally reassembled into a new product.
Everything we buy is not only made up of the materials in the final product but also all of the fossil fuels and water used in production, packaging and transport to its final destination. Putting rubbish in the recycling bin cannot reverse that initial energy usage.
It’s also worth noting that every time an item is recycled, it’s often made into a newer but lower quality version of the original material. This is a positive, as it is prolonging the life of materials and reducing the need for brand new materials to be used. However, this process may occur multiple times and sometimes, the material will be recycled to the point that it no longer serves a further purpose and ultimately, ends up as landfill waste.
Why we should reduce waste
You may have heard of the three R’s; reuse, recycle, reduce. Of the three, ‘reduce’ is arguably the most important of all. Simply put, the most effective way to reduce and manage waste is to not create it in the first place. Consuming fewer products will eradicate the need for them to be reused and recycled in the long-run.
Unfortunately though, as a society, we are not in the habit of consuming less. Many people will still buy bottled water instead of carrying a reusable water bottle. Buying new is still far more commonplace than buying secondhand. We’re still buying disposable razors when we could buy a reusable one. We lack the effort to take a moment before making a purchase and considering how much we will use it, and the impact that this product has had – and will have – on the environment. Instead, we are all about convenience and the instant gratification of consuming.
A lot of the responsibility falls on brands. Without brands providing the opportunity for consumers to make more sustainable choices, what hope do we have? Companies around the globe are measuring the impact of their products and packaging on the environment and taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint.
Tyler Packaging & recycling and reducing
At Tyler Packaging, we are committed to protecting our planet and its people. We work with brands to help them to avoid overpackaging their products. And with the packaging that is required, we ensure that the material we produce stays in the economy and never becomes waste or pollution.
Our 100% recyclable range of materials has been developed as part of this commitment, and the products within this range are produced using up to two-layer laminate, moving away from the mixed plastic laminates traditionally used which are not recyclable.
Alongside our recyclable range is our compostable packaging range, made from renewable, environmentally friendly materials. This packaging breaks down in a controlled timeframe under specific conditions that return the packaging to nature, giving it a second use and meaning it will never end up in landfill.
Our packaging means that brands and consumers alike do not need to compromise on quality whilst staying sustainable. If you’d like to know more about our sustainable and recyclable packaging ranges, then contact us today.