While private companies and individuals certainly have an impact on recycling, government support matters. Some countries have developed initiatives to promote recycling and have consequently become more successful than others. Here’s what you need to know about the countries that recycle the most, in addition to what lessons can be learned from them.
Germany is the Best Recycling County in the World
Germany is able to recycle over 65 percent of their municipal waste every year. This is encouraged through high incentives — each plastic bottle garners 25 cents. Comparatively, California currently pays $1.28 per pound of plastic bottles. Recycling is in the best interests of the environment and the economy, and consequently high incentives make sense long-term.
Germany also has a high number of recycling bins available, and rather than recycling things on a company level the items are recycled by the citizens. By promoting a strong culture of recycling, Germany has been able to place much of the labor and responsibility on the hands of the citizens. This means that recycling is also more affordable in terms of overhead, and consequently, the government can afford to pay out larger rewards.
Additionally, Germany has plans for 2019 — they are going to make it more obvious which bottles can be recycled and which bottles cannot. This will help tremendously, as consumers currently have a hard time distinguishing between the two, and thus may not make as conscientious purchasing choices.
Wales is a Leader When It Comes to Recycling
When you think about recycling, do you think about Wales? You should. Wales is the second best recycler of household goods in the entire world and is leading the way in progressive initiatives. Wales hopes to achieve zero waste by 2050 and is one of the few countries ambitious enough to be actively moving towards these goals.
Through environmentally-friendly government initiatives, Wales has been able to build a culture around recycling. This includes deposit-refund systems, landfill taxes, and the mandatory collection of certain recyclable materials. Consequently, even as recycling efforts have stagnated in other countries, Wales has continued to progress.
As with Germany, Wales has been able to achieve a lot of its recycling benefits through its bottle deposit scheme. In general, any country with a higher bottle deposit will yield better results for its recycling plants.
There’s a lot to learn about how other countries do their recycling. By making some elements of recycling mandatory, paying citizens to complete their recycling responsibly, and marking the items that can be most easily recycled, governments can encourage behaviors that will positively benefit the environment. By introducing new initiatives, any country can advance their recycling efforts.
Do you need to get rid of your trash? Are you interested in recycling responsibly? Contact us at Debris Box to find out how you can streamline your waste removal.