Recycling made super easy: In Singapore, dozens of students are hunting for thrown-away P.E.T. bottles
As part of the "Collect & Crush" initiative, WaterWays Watch Society and Reverse Logistics Group show how P.E.T. bottles can be recycled.
Everything started with a visit to the RLG CEO Patrick Wiedemann in Singapore and an observation: although the city really pays attention to cleanliness and makes throwing chewing gum on the street a serious offense, it is hard for it to master the flood of plastic drink bottles in the household waste. No wonder because the population has little incentive to recycle these things and at the end they will end up in the waste incinerator. They are a long way in Singapore for a comprehensive recycling systems of the P.E.T. bottles – best like optimised in Germany with a deposit system – and recycling their resources. According to the National Environment Agency Singapore, in 2012 just 11% of all plastic waste was recycled – with a percentage of 25% of the plastic of the overall accumulated waste.
That is an unacceptable fact for recycling specialists at RLG. And if you are going to travel far, you just have to start early they thought and an idea was born: School children should be informed about the advantages of recycling P.E.T. bottles and they will make their own contribution as part of the overall competition. This means that the recycling concept can be enshrined early in their heads and that they can be conveyed via the families and thereby to the rest of the population. With WaterWays Watch Society, a partner was also found which also gives a face to the environmental aspect of this programme.
The first bottles have absolutely been collected
Since March 1, the overall competition is currently taking place in eleven schools. The students have until late September to collect as many P.E.T. bottles as possible and to also prepare for recycling by "crushing". An introductory video and posters explained to them in advance; the "crushers" and the collection containers are available in the school. Of course, RLG takes care of the retrieval and environmentally-sound recycling.
The organisers are already excited just a few weeks after the launch of their programme: the first school even started to collect before the official start date in order to stay in the lead at the end. It is worth it because in the end all schools get prizes. However, the even more important benefit will be that the recycling concept for P.E.T. bottles and thereafter other reclaimed materials has also been a success in Singapore.
About Collect & Crush:
“Collect and Crush” is a green initiative piloted by the Waterways Watch Society and the Reverse Logistics Group. It is rolled out to primary and secondary schools throughout Singapore and is organized as a competition.
The aims of this programme are to:
- Increase awareness of waste management and the negative environmental effects of improper disposal of P.E.T. bottles.
- Highlight the advantages of recycling P.E.T. bottles and encourage the school pupils to do so through a competition.
- Provide knowledge and experience to pupils and staff in P.E.T. recycling, so as to achieve sustainable P.E.T. recycling efforts in Singapore
The competition will run from 1st March to 30th September 2014. The participating schools will be awarded prizes based on the volume of P.E.T. bottles they have collected.
Please find more information on www.collectandcrush.com