Recycling policies and practices vary from place to place. It is interesting to learn about these differences, especially if you want to travel to different countries. After all, you must be mindful of the garbage disposal policies in the areas you intend to visit.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most notable differences in recycling policies and practices around the world. This list is not comprehensive, but it should give you an idea of how recycling works in various places.
Only 27 states in the USA have laws that make recycling mandatory. No national or federal law compels everyone to adopt recycling practices. However, this should not be a reason not to recycle when possible. Local governments and various NGOs encourage everyone to live sustainably and avoid leaving unnecessary waste. In the case of metals and other durable trash, it is not difficult to find metal recycling establishments in localities. Anyone, including tourists, can sell scrap metals to local recyclers for a few bucks.
Japan is arguably one of the cleanest countries in the world. One of the reasons for this remarkable cleanliness is the country’s aspiration toward zero waste. The government takes recycling seriously. Japanese TV shows, including animes, regularly show people segregating their trash and mention recycling day. If you visit Japan, always remember the local recycling culture as much as possible.
Similar to Japan, Sweden excels in its recycling practices. Its successful waste management is mainly attributable to the country’s citizens, who are well-acquainted and willing to follow the rules on segregating waste. People separate trash that is combustible to be sent to power plants, where they serve as fuel for electricity generation. The Scandinavian country expects tourists to respect this policy and help make the waste-to-energy scheme successful.
Another European country notable for its recycling efforts is The Netherlands. For years, it has successfully applied sustainability principles across different industries. For example, in the construction sector, the government has required the use of recycled plastic to construct bike paths.
This North American country is not exactly a paragon of recycling best practices like the United States. However, its policy on tires and cigarette butts is noteworthy. Canada has deployed containers across the country to collect cigarette butts for recycling. Also, Canada uses worn-out tires as a component in asphalt for building roads and playground surfaces.
A study by NS Packaging shows that it is the world’s top country for recycling. It has a recycling rate of 56.1 percent, which means more than half of the waste it produces gets recycled. Since the 1990s, the country has implemented strict waste management rules to combat landfill problems.
South Korea also has recycling practices worth emulating. The country known for its glass-skinned Kpop stars and Kdrama actors knows how to keep things hygienic by recycling as much as possible. They have strict waste segregation policies.
Avoid offending the locals in the places you visit. Know and try to adopt their waste management practices as much as possible.