In recent years, public interest in recycling has grown tremendously. The phenomenon of “green guilt”, the paranoia or impeding doom associated with environmental concern, is very real. Societies are feeling the heat of global warming and other environmental threats now more than ever, and with the expansion of social platforms, they are receiving more attention.
Because of this, we often assume that most people we consider to be generally responsible must have at least some hand in participating in the recycling movement. Surely, people who have access to recycling use it, right?
Who Is Recycling Anyways?
Turns out, the answer is just not that simple. Global recycling rates are vastly reported, but the accuracy and criterion for these reports vary, making them difficult to compare with one another.
As stated in a recent report, data suggests that Europe and Asia are in the lead when it comes to highest performance in recycling. This information was then adjusted by considering the respective recycling practices in each country.
Germany, Taiwan, Wales, South Korea, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, Netherlands, and Singapore are the world’s leading recyclers.
How did they do it? Integration of comprehensive strategies to enable the public, clearly identified and communicated objectives, proper funding, producer responsibility, and incentives have all contributed.
What’s interesting, is the amount of conflicting information when it comes to recycling rates. Sweden claims to recycle as much as 99% of their waste, and this is possible for their select parameters on what is technically considered recycling by definition in Sweden.
So, who is actually recycling? The answer is complicated. What isn’t complicated—is whether you, GR8 friend, are recycling?