Recycling is all about awareness. Through the simple act of separating our rubbish, we can become more keenly aware of our effect on the environment. It might sound small but this type of awareness can have profound consequences for the way we live. But we must be inspired to take the first step and invest that little extra time to separate our rubbish into that which can be reused or recycled and that which is useless waste. So, what is the best method of engaging society to recycle?
Many countries have experimented with awareness campaigns with varying degrees of success. Some are born out of financial necessity, such as the compulsory recycling of glass bottles in Mexico. Others are more creative. Japan, for instance, has asked residents to donate old smartphones and other electronics to be used in the production of medals for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Who would have thought that an Olympian would be wearing a medallion made from an old iPhone?
In Abu Dhabi, efforts to get the community recycling on a regular basis have focused on education. According to the Abu Dhabi Centre for Waste Management, parents have a responsibility to educate their children about how and why to recycle. Indeed, instilling such a value early in life is critical to the success of any recycling programme.
Education alone, however, is not enough to spur people into action over recycling. One measure that could be considered is curbing the number of free shopping bags in grocery stores. Plastic bags make up a remarkably large portion of rubbish in landfills and even end up in our seas. In many other places, such bags carry a small fee that is levied to discourage their overuse. Emirates is already using recycled materials for its in-flight blankets. These initiatives carry a message of environmentalism to all corners of the world and find resonance at home. Regardless of where the spark happens, once residents have committed to recycling as a habit
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