Slovenia is recycling 42.52% of its household waste which puts it in third place on the list of top 10 OECD countries with the most recycled waste. Turkey is the third on the list of states producing most household waste.
South Korea is superior in its green efforts as it recycles approximately 59% of its household waste. Germany came next, recycling half of its household waste (50%), followed by Slovenia (43%), Luxembourg (38%) and Ireland (32%), according to OECD data from 2018 or latest available information before that for 22 countries, analyzed by packaging retailer RAJA.
The company is revealing household habits of some of the world’s leading countries, including how much waste they generate, and how much of it is recycled. It also offers tips on how to help with household waste, including how to reduce and recycle it.
Households contribute 60 tonnes of waste every second, amounting to 2 billion tonnes each year globally. It’s estimated that by 2050 the volume would grow by 70% – reaching 3.4 billion tonnes.
Most household waste is produced in Germany
Most household waste is produced in Germany – around 37.7 million tonnes, bringing overall municipal waste to 51 million tonnes.
Though Germany, Japan, Turkey, France and the UK are in the top five producers of household waste, only Germany was a top performer in its ability to recycle it.
Turkey was the least ‘green’ of all, producing 28.1 million tonnes of household waste, and recycling only 3.1 million or 11%.
Tips to reducing household waste and better recycling
1. Pass on plastic, where possible
According to new research, a mere 14% of the 78 million metric tonnes of plastic packaging produced globally is recycled. Of course, a lot of this comes from our food. When you buy food next time, consider getting items that have less plastic packaging:
- If the food must have packaging, often the supermarket’s own products will have simpler, less damaging designs for recyclability.
- If the product you need is plastic and is an essential item that you will 100% use, consider buying in bulk to save you from buying smaller items, singularly.
- Take your own carrier bags to the shop, as this stops you bringing more unnecessary plastic home.
2. Refresh yourself with the recycling rules
Many of us have good intentions when it comes to recycling, but the rules can be complex. Make sure you check out your local authorities’ rules for what can and can’t be recycled. Some key points include:
- Always remove plastic bottle lids before putting bottles in recycling
- Make sure recyclable food and drink materials are clean, empty and dry so they don’t contaminate anything. It can’t be recycled if it’s covered in food e.g. a cardboard pizza box with pizza grease.
- Combined materials cannot be recycled and must go in the bin – e.g. if your paper bag has a plastic lining, these cannot be separated.
3. Make space to recycle
Often, one of the reasons we are not recycling enough is that we simply don’t have enough space. This is understandable but here are a few ways to help solve that:
- Break down your cardboard boxes and squash them as flat as possible so there is more space for other waste.
- Do the same thing with the likes of aluminum cans, standing on them so they are flatter.
- Rather than just have a bin in your kitchen, try to have a designated recycling bin in all relevant rooms -such as your bathroom, office, and garage.