Parishes and Schools recycle more single-use plastics

School recyclingHere’s What You Can Do.

In partnership with TerraCycle, a global leader in recycling hard-to-recycle materials, Sussex Green Living is now working with over fourteen parishes and schools to divert billions of waste resources from landfills.

Why is Recycling Single-Use Plastic Important?

Plastics are extremely durable and cheap to manufacture, making them almost impossible to overlook for manufacturers when it comes to product design and packaging. But their durability comes at the cost of slow degradation rates in the wild; upwards of 300 to 1000 years.

With about 380 tonnes of it being produced every year, by the time the plastic we have disposed of today begins to degrade the quantity in landfills, oceans and everywhere else will have become totally unmanageable. That is, unless, we can turn the tides.

Bisphenol A has been observed to disrupt physiological levels of sex hormones, negatively affect thyroid hormone gene expression in humans, and cause other detrimental effects. In marine life, issues with plastic entanglement and ingestion have been observed at a broad scale.

The Differences in Plastic Recycling Types

It would be nice to think we could simply scoop up piles of discarded plastic by the bucket and recycle it into brand new material. But unfortunately it’s not that simple.

The recyclability of plastic depends not only on the specific type being used but also its format, packaging and whatever else winds up in the bin along with it.

Factors like these have an enormous impact on whether or not something can be effectively reused. Debris like rocks, dirt, and food are difficult to sort at recycling facilities. Many single-use plastics like pouches or packaging are challenging to recycle even if perfectly clean.

Particularly robust plastics like high-density polyethylene (HDPE) can be reused relatively easily for non-sterile products and commercial construction projects. Recycled HDPE is often used for anything from plastic lumber all the way to washroom partitions.

Since single-use plastics are so notoriously difficult to recycle, creative approaches need to be developed to keep them where they should be and out of our backyards and oceans.

About Terracycle

Terracycle runs a primarily volunteer-based platform that operates in 20 countries to tackle the issue of eliminating waste. So far, they have succeeded in diverting millions of pounds of resources from landfill waste to recycled or upcycled products.

Terracycle has a history of finding creative uses for post-consumer waste products, including using its “Bottle Brigade” program to convert used plastic soda bottles for plant fertilizer containers, creating backpacks from discarded juice pouches, and more.

Now the company has partnered with Sussex Green Living and over 20 parishes and schools to make single-use plastic recycling easier for everyone.

How Can You Participate?

Spreading Awareness of Our Single-Use Recycling Schemes

One of the simplest ways you can help increase recycling efforts in your area is to let people know about what we are offering. These are the programmes we collect waste resources for, learn more below or visit this page to see all the village locations who are working with us and see all the TerraCycle posters which you can print out yourself. If you want to set up as a drop off location with us, read these pages. Recycling with usRecycling guide for our drop off locations.

Building Teams

Volunteers are needed to coordinate, monitor, sort and dispatch waste resources. Start listing people you think may be interested and reaching out to them.

Acquiring Bins

Sussex Green Living are able to provide external bins if the drop off location is in Horsham District.

Let us know that you are ready to start collecting

We’ll connect you with one of our volunteers who can assist you or one of your collaborators in determining the details of what can be collected.

Go See the Team in Action

Every Wednesday we have a team of volunteers (The Sussex Green Living Wombles) at our main location in Horsham who sort and package waste resources. Contact us to arrange a visit and meeting.

Help Get Other Schools, Nurseries and Parishes Involved

Locations like these are great places to keep bins and spread awareness of the programs.

Spread Awareness of Standard Recycling Practices

Don’t neglect recycling at home and helping those around you understand how to properly do so. Here’s a link to a simple cheat sheet that separates the “Yes, please” items from the “No thanks” ones. Fortunately, thanks to our single-use recycling programs more of the “No thanks” items for your home recycling bins (like crisp packets, pet food pouches and the like) are finding better homes at our drop-off locations.

Get in Touch or Come Visit Us

Get in touch with us to find out more.

Feeling inspired to get involved?

We are always looking for volunteers, so get in touch or come and meet us and see how you can get involved! Join us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, or sign up to receive our latest news (it only takes two seconds to add your email address – simply click on black ‘Follow‘ tab on bottom right of this screen!). Feel free to also send us an email using our contact form, or come and say hello at our events like the Horsham Climate Cafe or the Horsham Repair Cafe!

Inspiring sustainable living in Sussex