The United States generates the most plastic waste compared to any other country—roughly 42 million metric tons per year. To help commercial facilities improve their recycling efforts, Sofidel, a global provider of paper for hygienic and domestic use, shares four best practices ahead of America Recycles Day, celebrated on November 15.
“America Recycles Day reminds us to be more mindful of our current recycling practices and to look for ways to improve our sustainability efforts. Given the plastic waste crisis, we continue to explore and implement innovative ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle to protect our planet,” said Fabio Vitali, VP of Marketing, Sofidel.
Consider the following recycling tips for your facility:
- Conduct a waste assessment. Take a close look at the waste your facility is currently generating. Record the total volume, then sort through the waste to determine the different types being disposed of on a regular basis. Note the weight of the materials after you’ve sorted them into each waste category, like plastics, paper, glass, metal, compostable organics, etc. This will give you a better idea of areas for improvement.
- Reduce the use of single-use plastics. Plastic waste, particularly from single-use plastics, harms around 700 various marine species via ingestion or entanglement. Facilities should assess areas where durable reusable options are feasible to curb waste. Purchasing products that limit the use of plastic packaging is another key tactic.
- Purchase products made from recycled materials. Plastic production is expected to grow 30% over the next five years, according to the Plastic Waste Index. Seek out solutions that creatively repurpose recovered materials, like restroom dispensers made from ocean plastic pollution, to give waste a new life.
- Add labeled recycling bins for easy sorting. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found plastics made up 18% of materials in landfills in 2018. Adding collection bins for different types of materials can reduce the number of recyclables that end up in landfills.
Sofidel repurposes recovered fishing nets from the ocean for its Papernet brand HyTech Seas paper towel and toilet paper dispensers. Once the plastic is collected from the ocean, it’s refined and created into an injectable material that is then used to produce the HyTech Seas dispensers. Due to this process, the dispensers are participating in the Green Seal Innovative Product program, which includes an extensive third-party certification process to determine the environmental and health impacts of a product.
These proprietary dispensers are compatible with the following Papernet products: Dissolve Tech paper towels, which dissolve if flushed down the toilet, thereby reducing the risk of clogs and expenses; Double Layer paper towels, which fuse two fiber mixtures into one ply for a soft tissue, ideal for high traffic restrooms; and Dry Tech paper towels, which feature through-air drying technology to create air pockets between the paper’s fibers, resulting in increased absorbency.