The design (or lack of) of things may automatically render them non-recyclable. Think about things like mixed material products or packaging that cannot be easily separated or dismantled into their component parts. Contamination may also render these things non-recyclable. Think about chemicals from foils leaching onto plastics or cheese grease onto pizza boxes.
Those plastics or those boxes typically cannot be recycled by local authorities or even some specialist recyclers. The result is that many of these things must be thrown away and oftentimes this means being sent to landfill.
Though an island nation, the UK does not always burn its rubbish. According to government statistical records on waste, 24.4% (52.3 million tonnes) of rubbish produced in the UK in 2016 was disposed of at landfill sites compared to just 2.7% (5.7 million tonnes) incinerated that year. The percentage of waste being converted into energy is increasing, however perhaps too much is still being sent to landfill sites which take a painfully long time to restore.
Fun (but not so fun) fact: The rubbish the UK sends to landfill each year could fill Wembley Stadium to the brim over 50 times. (Stat from BBC article, see below)
With so many citizens living just a few miles from these dumping grounds (over three quarters the population of England and Wales does) it is no longer a case of just throwing something “away”. And when those things are toxic like chemicals from our industry or covid-infected PPE it matters just a little more what happens to our waste. This is really an issue that affects us directly.
Green Salon Collective has compiled a number of solutions to help your salon minimise its waste and we also offer some services to help you with responsible disposal. Read our articles:
This article was written for Green Salon Collective by MeetthefiveRs
References and further reading:
First Mile’s article, Why is renewable energy so important?
Because Health’s article, Biodegradable vs compostable vs recyclable
The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ Statistics on Waste
Let’sRecycle.com’s article, Waste to landfill in England jumps 4% in 2019
BBC News article, Is it safe to live on a former landfill site?
First Mile’s article, 22 facts about renewable energy