Recycling is a key aspect of modern waste reduction, and is outlined as the third priority in the waste hierarchy for how to manage waste, following reduction and reuse. It seeks to achieve environmental sustainability by reducing waste output and raw material input, through the use of recycled materials. Despite its limitations, recycling has undeniable environmental benefits compared to conventional waste disposal and is getting increasingly important because of our large and continuously growing population and consumer habits.
The increasing amount of household waste, following population growth, urbanisation and increased affluence, has become a significant global environmental issue. With the average European generating around 480 kg of waste each year, it is crucial that we improve how we manage our waste at home to reduce our environmental footprint. While good waste management is important, the key to dealing with the escalating waste problem lies in changing our buying habits and our attitudes towards consumption. To do so, we need to understand more about our waste, about what happens to it and how we can reduce it.
Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands are promoting and sustaining our modern throwaway lifestyles that are driving the plastic pollution crisis. In most developed countries we have become reliant on the plastic infused convenience products and it has become nearly impossible not to create plastic waste. Every year we are throwing away kilo after kilo of plastic waste – from the packaging covering our food and hygiene products, to our single-usage toiletries and household products. Our overconsumption of these products is encouraging the mass production of single-use plastics that are polluting our ecosystems and harming biodiversity.
Most people do not think much about what we put down the drains. Once whatever we have put down the drain is out of sight it is usually out of mind. While we would not litter our surroundings or dump potentially harmful contaminants into nature, many do not think twice before discarding environmentally damaging substances down the drain. In modern societies, such substances can be found in everyday products and may contaminate your wastewater more than you think. While our drains are being subject to an abundance of potentially harmful substances, the wastewater treatment centers are not equipped to adequately treat the wastewater. The unfortunate result is contaminated wastewater being released back into nature, with significant environmental impacts.
Through the investment of a reusable water bottle, you can help the environment from suffering the severe consequences of single-use water bottles. By refilling your bottle with tap water and avoiding single-use water bottles, you can significantly reduce your environmental footprint, while saving money and protecting your health.