Pizza boxes and other things you didn't know are poorly recycled

The best strategy to contribute to improving the environment continues to be the so-called three 'R'

Ingrid Ortiz-Viera

Separating garbage at home seems like an easy task, but the truth is that if we distance ourselves from glass bottles and tetrabricks, there are numerous doubts about which products can or cannot be recycled and in which container.

The data shows that barely 20% of canaries recycle, despite the fact that awareness about caring for the environment is increasing compared to the last decade.

However, citizenship will be key to future waste management, according to the commitment of the islands to be increasingly green, and proof of this is the Circular Economy Law which, once it begins to be implemented, will make the act mandatory to separate the garbage. To do it responsibly, check out these five things you may not have known couldn't be recycled.


just the lid

pizza boxes

Logic leads us to think that they are cardboard containers that go directly to the blue bucket. In fact, Ecoembes makes this clear on its website and it would be right if they were clean boxes. What is not taken into account, as several associations of environmentalists such as Greenpeace declare, is that the fat that it absorbs from the pizza prevents the recycling process from being carried out properly.

The oil adheres to the cardboard and "contaminates" it when it is crushed and submerged in water to make a "paste" with which the new product would be made. It is something that also happens with papers or napkins stained with some greasy or oil-based substance.

The best solution would be to deposit only the parts that are not dirty, such as the lids of the box, in the blue container.



cardboard tableware

Unless it is specified that they are biodegradable or recyclable, single-use tableware that is commonly used in celebrations is covered with an impermeable film that, again, prevents good treatment.

In this same context, it is common to see straws or plastic cutlery that are not recyclable and, in addition, end up polluting the oceans.

They are a type of glass but, again, they have a special composition that makes it difficult to recycle them like bottles.



polystyrene trays

Supermarkets offer fruits and vegetables packed in these typical trays offering "convenience" to customers. Although it is possible to recycle this material, little is done and it creates doubts about whether to deposit it in the blue or yellow container. But the truth is that it is foamed plastic, so it must be deposited in the container for containers, cans and cartons.



colored bottles

The recycling of plastic bottles is also conditioned by color. It affects the so-called PET plastics (for polyethylene terephthalate) present in numerous textiles and soft drinks. In fact, Coca Cola has recently announced that it will change the classic green Sprite bottle to help improve the environment.

The explanation lies in the fact that in recycling plants, separation techniques are carried out using sensors that identify the type of plastic. Those that are colored have a type of coating that prevents recognition of the material.

The three r'

Recycling is just one of the so-called three 'R's, a basic guide to being more sustainable. However, experts point out that it is necessary to focus more on the other two: 'reduce' the consumption of products that use disposable materials or directly unnecessary products; and 'reuse' as much as possible, which would avoid the need to go through a recycling process.

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