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Changing the world from the kitchen: 10 simple steps to recycle and reduce waste in your kitchen

We now turn to the third in our series of articles to change the world from the kitchen through small actions that allow us to save water, make more efficient use of energy and prevent uncontrolled waste disposal. Jointly with Ruth Uve and María Blanco, founders of ‘Lo Mínimo’, a consultancy focused on sustainable consumption, today we address the issue of recycling, busting some myths and finding out how small changes in our routines can have a big impact on the planet.

The importance of reducing our waste

We tend to think that current recycling systems work, or that everything we put in the recycling bin will be recycled. Not quite so. Recycling is a very complex system as it is made up of many micro-systems and not all recyclable products share the same market value. ‘The blue or yellow bins are not temporary magic holes that make our plastic or cardboard waste vanish. The recycling rate of plastic waste in Spain is less than 36%, compounded by the fact that many of these plastics can only be recycled once. A different problem arises with cardboard. It is a very low-cost material, so there are few recycling plants for the amount we use. This means that, in many cases, cardboard and paper end up in our landfills, increasing pollution levels,’ warns the team from Lo Mínimo. Today we are going to show you how to set up an optimised and simple recycling system so that you can reduce your plastic or polluting footprint.

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1. Not all plastics can be recycled

‘Get used to this as soon as possible: plastic is not recycled. The plastic waste we produce in the kitchen is called post-consumer plastic. We used to sell most of the plastic waste to China, but due to the state of contamination in which it arrived, we can no longer export it. By selling it, we avoided keeping it at home, but it still ended up buried, incinerated or dumped at sea.’

2. Audit your waste

‘It is the best way to know how much waste we produce. Identifying the products we can do without and looking for alternatives is the most effective way to reduce our plastic footprint.’

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3. If you buy plastic, try to look for large packaging

‘If you cannot avoid buying certain plastic packaging, choose at least the larger ones. Unfortunately, smaller packaging fails to reach the recycling centres and is therefore discarded, not recycled. Moreover, it is best to choose plastics that are not mixed with other types of plastics, as this makes sorting and recycling more difficult.’

4. Use glass or cans instead

‘Go for glass or cans whenever possible. These materials have a very high recycling efficiency.’

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5. Do not think cardboard is better

‘No, cardboard is NOT the sustainable alternative to plastic.’

6. Compost whenever possible

‘If you are put off composting by the smell, leave one of your freezer drawers empty to do so. You can freeze these leftovers before taking them to the composting system used in your area.’

7. Avoid convenience foods

‘A diet based on fresh produce will reduce your footprint and your monthly expenditure, and also improve your health.’

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8. Recycling is not actually sustainable

‘It requires a lot of energy expenditure. Reducing is the word we must always keep in mind.’

9. Make a kit with reusable bags

‘Also for fresh produce, such as fruit and vegetables, and keep it handy at all times. This way, when you have to go shopping, you won’t waste time organising yourself.’

10. You do not need a cleaning product for every surface

‘Look for multi-purpose products that allow you to reduce plastic packaging. If you have a choice, buying in bulk is a good alternative that will allow you to reuse those plastic containers you already have. Reuse whenever possible.’

And at Cosentino?

We also join the challenge. Thanks to the exclusive HybriQ+ technology, we have launched a new Silestone, a more sustainable and beautiful surface. Its manufacturing process is powered entirely by renewable energy and 99% recycled water, in a circular system that avoids discharges into the environment.

This new generation of Silestone surfaces maintains the brand’s guaranteed quality with a hybrid formulation of premium minerals and a minimum of 20% recycled materials, such as glass.

All this makes the new Silestone the standard of beauty, cutting-edge innovation and unparalleled sustainability. More sustainable. More Silestone.

Tags: HybriQ, Silestone, Sustainability | 4 meses ago | Written by: Cosentino