Plastic cannot be recycled, it can only be downcycled. But what does it mean?
Unlike glass or aluminium, plastic loses quality during the recycling process, which means that it has a limited lifecycle.
Typically, a plastic bottle can be turned into a lower quality plastic bottle about 2 times before it is turned into other products like doormats, textiles, plastic lumber, etc.
Downcycling plastic is better than sending it to landfill of course, because it reduces waste on the short term. But ultimately, this process is not infinite, and plastic will eventually end up in the trash as it will not be possible to use it anymore.
What can we do about it?
In this order: Refuse, Reuse, Relove, Recycle!
Refuse: if you can avoid single-use plastic, do it. Replace your plastic bottle by a reusable bottle, replace your plastic bag by a reusable one.
Reuse: if you happen to have a plastic bottle or plastic bag with you (not always possible to avoid), reuse them as many times as possible before sending it for recycling.
Relove: if they are broken, try to find them another use, relove them! Try some DIY projects are give them a new life!
Recycle: finally, as a last option, send them for recycling (or downcycling).
Where can I find alternatives to single-use plastic products?
The most common switch is ditching the single-use plastic bottle for a reusable and durable water bottle. But there are many more!
You can find reusable food covers, reusable takeaway containers, reusable coffee cups, reusable napkins, reusable straws, reusable nappies and so many more!
Have a look at our eco-brand directory, where we have recommendations of brands for each category of products.
What is the eco-brand directory?
It is just a catalogue of sustainable brands, that we classified by type of product to make the search easier. You can find eco-brands for phone cases, for clothing, for cleaning products, anything you need! It’s not an online shop, we don’t sell the products ourselves. Just a catalogue with brands that we have tried and that we love. Click here to have a look.