Cyprus Mail

Why recycling is everyone’s responsibility

Recycling is not a recent development in the lives of Cypriot citizens. But it seems that the various campaigns, information, educational programmes and a general effort to create a culture around recycling have been unsuccessful on the island. This realisation also stems from the latest report of the European Commission, which in essence presents Cyprus as one of the “most wasteful” countries due to the low recycling percentage. Cyprus, specifically, ranks in the 4th worst position within EU countries, with a 17% recycling percentage, following Malta, Romania and Greece.

This does not paint an optimistic picture. On the contrary, it increases our dissatisfaction when we realise, on the one hand the image our country projects abroad and on the other, the repeated offences each one of us commits against the environment on a daily basis. Nonetheless, changing Cyprus’ image as well as the future of our environment is in our hands. Literally. A responsibility that weighs on our society in terms of every individual as well as through bigger or smaller companies and organisations whose contribution is important in achieving this important goal.

Recycling is still not a given. As residents, organisations and companies from all sectors of this country it is our duty to adopt practices that will contribute towards this goal and at the same time enhance Cyprus’ green footprint by participating in packaging recycling processes. Reducing the volume of waste that ends up in landfills and saving energy and raw materials that are necessary for the production of new packages may sound small steps in the quest for a healthy planet, but they’re not.

How feasible is it to reverse the negative impact of human activity on the environment? It’s actually more feasible than we think. Great things can be achieved with simple actions that we can incorporate into our daily lives and the weekly programmes of every company as well as with constant updates on and implementation of recycling practices.

According to research, by recycling 1,000kg of paper we save 17 trees as well as 130kg of petrol/oil which would have been used towards producing the energy required to create the paper. By recycling 1,000kg of plastic means that the 500 years needed for them to decompose naturally won’t be necessary and therefore we don’t run the risk of 732kg of gas being emitted, which are created during the production of plastic and which contribute to the greenhouse effect.

On the other side of the equation, a large company such as LIDL Cyprus, following the policy of the international corporation, ensures recycling through appropriate programmes and practices which produce coveted results. LIDL Cyprus is undoubtedly an example to follow and find supporters in its efforts.

The Schwarz Group, of which LIDLis a member, continuously develops innovative solutions for the collection, separation and recycling of waste in all the countries it is active in. At the same time, it researches, optimises and expands local return and distribution facilities to maintain existing plastic in the “closed loop” recycling cycle, which means a continuous supply, use and recycling.

LIDL Cyprus, in its ten-year presence in Cyprus, has exhibited a particularly conscious interest in the environment through the REset Plastic initiative. The prime objective of the programme is to reduce the use of plastic where this is possible and sustainable. This is achieved through very important and costly campaigns done by the company about recycling as well as the redesign of packages found on its shelves so that they are recyclable. The main goal of LIDL is that by 2025 all its packaging will be made of 100% recyclable materials. An effort which has already begun and which also aims reduce the use of plastic by 20% by 2025.

LIDL has fully comprehended the danger the environment is in and for many years has been taking special actions to implement what each one of us should have realised by now: that our planet will only be saved if we change the way we think and if we realise that it is our responsibility to save our natural environment. And that, lies in our hands.

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