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Natural Awakenings National

Renovating the Recycling Stream

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Americans use a single recycling stream in which everything goes into one bin to be sorted and cleaned at the designated collection point; a system that requires too much labor with less-than-stellar results. A study conducted by the South Korean SK Group asked 1,500 U.S. adults about sustainable packaging and found that 72 percent prefer products with easily recycled or reused packaging, but don’t understand what can actually be recycled. Forty-two percent were not aware that containers such as plastic bottles cannot be recycled without removing the label. When dirty and labeled recyclables are deposited with clean recyclables, they contaminate the whole batch, creating massive amounts of unnecessary waste.

SKC Inc. has introduced Ecolabel, the first shrink sleeve label that doesn’t need to be removed from plastic bottles to be recycled. This removes the burden from the consumer and recyclers while making the process easier. Recyclops uses independent drivers to service recycling routes, creating income for locals and sustainable living options for residents. They’re innovating the recycling pickup process by using an Uber Eats-type phone app to enable the pickup of recyclables from areas that aren’t being serviced.

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