FIVE Creative Recycling Efforts Worldwide

As of August 2018, the Earth is home to more than 7.6 billion population. This population is producing a gigantic amount of waste at 2.12 billion tonnes per year. In Malaysia alone, we are producing around 38,000 metric tonnes of waste every day. There’s no other way to combat this massive production unless we re-use what has been produced.  Let’s learn 5 recycling initiatives worldwide encouraging people to recycle.  

1.    A shopping center that sells recycled and upcycled items in Sweden

Photo credit/Image via ReTuna Återbruksgalleria

The name is ReTuna Återbruksgalleria located in the Swedish city of Eskilstuna. The mall is dubbed as the world’s first that refine, repair and convert old things into new things, which they then sell on.  It has been running for almost 4 years now and is continuing to receive a positive response from the local consumers. Almost all items are donated by the locals which allow the goods to be sold at a rather cheaper price. Currently, there are 13 running stores selling reused things ranging from clothes, furnishings, furniture, books, outdoor gears, pet products, electronics and more.

2.    A bin that feeds stray animals in Istanbul, Turkey

Photo credit / Image via Imgur

As a country known for their love for stray dogs and cats, this innovation by Pugedon is surely living up to their reputation. The unique recycling machine bin does not just solve 2 problems; it is generated through solar panel which means it is also environmentally friendly. Every time someone throws empty PET-bottles, glass bottles and cans into the recycle machine, a certain amount of animal food and water will be poured out into the built-in bowls.

3.    An arcade game for recycling bottles in Germany

German automaker, Volkswagen and DDB Stockholm (ad agency) initiated a Fun Theory campaign to show people “what happens when we make choices fun?” What did they do? They converted a provided bottle recycling bank into an arcade game complete with sound effects, score points and console. The game is simple – find the hole that fits best with your recycling bottles. What’s the result? The converted arcade game was used by more than 100 people while the conventional ones are used by only 2 people within the same time period.  

4.    Free ‘olipot’ to recycle cooking oil in Barcelona, Spain.

Photo credit / Image via Tree Hugger

Cooking oil is insoluble in water and if thrown into sinks or toilets, it will clog the pipes and reduce water treatment capacity. To reduce damages, the Barcelona’s city council installed "puntos verdes” - green points - in all parts of the city and residents can drop off their used cooking oil of any types including soy, sunflower, vegetable, or olive oil. They also introduced and distributed Olipots for free since 2010. The Olipot really makes oil recycling easier; you can use it to store and drop off the oil at "puntos verdes" and it has a built-in filter that separates pieces of food from the oil. Once collected, the used cooking oil is turned into biodiesel.

5.    A smart card that converts recyclable items into money in Malaysia

Photo credit /Image via E-Idaman

Malaysia produces 38,000 metric tonnes of waste every day. Out of it, only 24% are recycled while the remaining 76% goes to landfills. To reduce dependency on landfills and encourage 4R2C Approach (Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Composting and Closing the loop), Global Environment Centre (GEC) collaborates with Cenviro SDN BHD seeking to promote recycling practice among Malaysian. How?Cenviro together with MyKasih Foundation initiated a Recycle for Life programme which turns trash into cash via a smart card. Individuals and organisations may get the smart card and the cash value for every weight of waste collected will be credited to the smart card. The programme accepts recyclable wastes such as papers, plastics,aluminums, steels and electronic wastes.

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