How do we recycle?


How do we recycle? - Juliette Caillé, Jan. 2020.

Do you always sort out and respect the rules for a perfect recycling? If yes, how do you feel about others not doing so? If not, how do you feel about that?

I believe one of the main issues about recycling is that the way it works is very
unclear. Honestly, this is one of the themes I master the less in the whole “sustainability field”. I still struggle to recycle properly, because it changes in every places I go, and yes, I am still lazy – or at least, I don’t take the time - to check every recycling rules there are. I absolutely don’t feel proud of this, of course, because I am denouncing those lazy people who are not willing to change and to improve. But I am trying to change on that, and I would like to go deeper on this subject to really understand the way it works.

One of the reasons I think I am not at ease with recycling is that I am still somehow
skeptical. To my opinion, the principle of recycling itself is good. I absolutely agree on the concept of circular economy. But what I am skeptical with the policies related to recycling, at least in France (a country I am more familiar with). I feel like that last governments we had were all telling us to recycle, because recycling is good, you are good consumers if you recycle and you are going to save the planet. It is clearly not an excuse for me for my unperfect recycling, but at least I know that recycling is by itself not a solution, and that I won’t save the planet by putting cardboard and glass in the right trashes. I don’t agree with those speeches because they entirely put the responsibility on the consumer, and they don’t ask for a direct reduction of consumption by itself. Where is the logic if we recycle (and feel good for it), but still consume products outside this circular economy?

For so many people being sustainable is recycling paper. I had this exact talk on Sunday evening, with a new friend of mine, who believed so. I am absolutely not judging him, because the main fault is coming from the misinformation the policymakers were spreading.

Besides, I am really sad to see how unclear the information about recycling are. In
France, we need to look very closely on the packaging -it is almost unreadable- to search for a number in order to know if this type of plastic is actually recyclable. An unclear information makes the consumers lost, and because he doesn’t understand, it becomes difficult, and if it is difficult, he will give up. And it is understandable.So, when I think about it and reconsider the whole thing, I feel like at least I understand better the principle of recycling (and I actually might recycle properly) because I
stay skeptical and critical regarding the policies. I know that recycling is not a final solution, but part of a bigger principle: reuse, reduce, and then, recycle.

I would like to quickly comment on the recycling of energies we mentioned. It was a
really interesting topic and it got me really emotional because it’s really rare to hear what I think of this from another person, and it becomes more real and true. I realized how often I work on the recycling of my bad energies into strong and positive energy. It’s like I am using my waste and burn it to create fuel and energy. I always consider that what bad happens in my life can be taken and understood in a positive dimension – at least, until now, because I never had to face a dramatic event. Everything I know from the climate crisis creates a lot of anger and frustration. But those bad energies are pushing me to act and to fight ever and ever again.