The World’s Top Recycling Countries
Image by Dave Goodman
We like to believe our planet is infinite. But in reality, our blue world is fragile, and it will eventually shrivel and waste away if we continue to pollute, waste and destroy without a moment’s thought.
Heavy stuff for an intro, right? Such words have to be said, but perhaps some examples will do more to help. Let’s take a look at the best countries when it comes to recycling, to see what the UK can do to become a green warrior and lead the fight for a sustainable future:
1) Sweden and Burning Waste
Of course, there is so much that makes Sweden great, not simply because of the mighty, mighty ABBA, and at the forefront of the list should be the country’s waste disposal program.
Sweden has cleverly and triumphantly found a way of powering the homes of its citizens – by burning the waste they produce to create energy. This wonderful cycle would be a superb opportunity for the UK to uphold a green energy source and cut down on its landfill sites.
2) Japan and Appliance Recycling
An overabundance of technology will often cause many to give up on their old appliances when they stop working, chucking it onto a landfill site to just go and buy the latest product. This simply will not do, but Japan is already on it.
Introducing the Home Appliance Recycling Law in 1998, Japan demands that appliance manufacturers finance the repair of any defective product, and if a consumer insists on ditching it, a fee must be paid before it is disposed of. If the UK started introducing green legislation akin to our island buddy, we could become as efficient and brilliant as they are.
3) Germany and Dead Animals
The chaos inflicted because of the Eurozone crisis has left many countries in a desperate state. But not Germany, oh no, their diligence and strict austerity measures have seen it through to success. Always the stickler, Germany has also taken this attitude and applied it to recycling.
And I’m not just talking beer bottles after Oktoberfest – roadkill is rendered down for fat to be used in luxuries such as lip balm. In life, they scurried or pranced along gleefully. In death, they are recycled and then slapped on our faces. Such a ruthless attitude could work miracles in the UK, but perhaps we should try it against something less morbid.
4) Belgium and Scrap Cars
I’m sure you want to forget your first car, but just think where that crazy, old thing is right now. Crushed and shredded in a yard somewhere, perhaps. Certainly not doing anything good for the environment, that’s for sure.
Belgium, with its recycling rate of a whopping 91%, uses highly advanced shredder technology to deal with all the excess waste made by scrapping a car. This is achieved by extracting raw material from the waste to be used elsewhere. A technology boost in this field would be a great help to the UK, and should see us getting closer or passing that elusive 91%.
5) Canada and Cigarette Butts
The smoking ban has been great, but now second-hand smoke is seeping into our streets. The smoking problem is still too prevalent, but to make matters even worse is that cigarette butts are one of the most littered items in the world.
However, this is not actually the case in Canada, thanks to the implementation of recycling bins for cigarette butts. Each bin is collected so that the cigarette butts can be recycled into products like plastic pallets and boxes. This ground-breaking move would be fantastic for the UK, if the bins were placed outside of pubs, bars and clubs, welcoming smokers in their drunken stupor to help save the planet.
This list shows that there are many countries out there who have found weird and inspirational ways of tackling the recycling problem. The world’s best countries for recycling have caught on to how we are affecting our planet and want to do something about it, but the entire world needs to become the best for recycling - so let’s not stop, until that is the case.
If you have any thoughts on recycling or have some great examples of countries that recycle, then please share them down below!
By Lee Gilbert
Category: Articles, News & Tips