Photo Credit: Steve Johnson from Pexels

This Global Recycling Day, encourage your family to up their game by introducing new tricks into your recycling at home; it makes things so much easier for collectors and recycling plants.


South Africa (16 March 2022) – South Africa is pretty great at recycling. That comes down to families being responsible for their waste at home and informal recyclers using the trade to earn an income. This upcoming Global Recycling Day (18 March 2022), challenge your family and friends to up their recycling game.

Around 1.1 million tonnes of paper and paper packaging are recovered for recycling in South Africa every year. This accounts for just under 70% of paper products available for recovery in the country.

Over the past 15 years, more than 19 million tonnes of paper and paper packaging have been recovered and kept out of South African landfills, the bales of which would almost go around the Earth twice.

The country also boasts an average paper recovery rate of 70%, making paper the second-most recovered material in South Africa.

“This is no time to rest on our laurels as consumers of paper,” says Jane Molony, acting CEO of Fibre Circle, the producer responsibility organisation (PRO) for the paper and paper packaging sector.

“There is much  people can do to change their rubbish to recycling ratio with a little bit of thought and a few extra bins around the home to keep waste and recyclables separate.”

The way to up your game is by practising separation-at-source; this means you separate your waste into categories before taking the bin out.

The first step in the greater recycling process doesn’t have to start and stop in the kitchen. Various household paper products, especially packaging commonly located in the bathroom, office or even right at your front door, can be recycled into new paper products.

Fibre Circle shares top tips for new and old recyclers to use to up their game.

Do a bin audit.

  • Count how many rubbish and recycling bins you have in your home.
  • Take note of how much refuse goes out with the weekly municipal collection and how much you are diverting from landfills by recycling.

Think about the paper products you are recycling.

  • Know your recyclables – from bedroom and bathroom to the kitchen sink
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Copy and printing paper, notebooks (minus wire binding and non-recyclable covers)
  • Egg cartons and takeaway cup holders
  • Magazines
  • Milk or juice cartons
  • Newspapers
  • Paper cups (minus the lid – this is made of polystyrene but can be recycled via other means)
  • Paper grocery bags and take-away food bags
  • Paper packaging from cereal, tea, sugar, pasta, doggy treats and other dry goods
  • Paperback books – you could donate old books to a library or community centre, but for those that are worn, a new life awaits through recycling.
  • Pizza boxes
  • Tubing from kitchen towel rolls and toilet rolls

Other things to keep in mind is to keep paper recycling clean and dry, and separate from wet waste and out of the rain. You should also support waste collectors, or find a drop-off centre or collection programme.

Now that you’re in the know think before you throw.

You can download posters for your home here.

Sources: Fibre Circle – Supplied
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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