How to Improve Your Recycling Habits Through Your Bagged Lunch

Cardboard recycling

Packing lunch, for school or for a job, is a great way to cut down on costs and save precious break minutes that would be spent buying lunch. If you do it right, it can also be a great way to kickstart good recycling practices and cut down on your personal carbon footprint.

Recycle All Plastic Bags

If you pack a lunch for your job
(or for your kids) every day, you’re probably well acquainted with small plastic bags, saran wrap and aluminum foil. But did you know that none of these items have to go in the trash?

Saran wrap and plastic bags are actually great candidates for plastic recycling and can be returned the same way as shopping bags. Many retail shops and recycle centers have free and easy plastic recycling programs for these products.

As for that foil, there’s no limit to how many times aluminum can be recycled, so make sure you clean it off and turn it in with the rest of your metals instead of throwing it out.

And believe it or not, if you’re paper-bagging it, you may not be doing the environment a favor. Plastic bags are actually easier to recycle and require less energy to produce than their paper counterparts, so you should switch to plastic bags, or:

Switch Up Your Lunch Packing Materials

You can easily reduce the waste from your lunch just by moving away from anything you’d have to recycle or throw in a trash can. Use a wide, flat Tupperware for sandwiches and pack any snacks in smaller containers. You’ll reuse them enough to cut down on your personal waste and your food is less likely to get crushed. You can often bring these containers in for plastic recycling when they’ve outlived their usefulness.

Getting a dedicated lunch bag instead of using a bag you throw away can be a big help as well. You should also invest in a reusable water bottle or coffee mug so you cut down on waste from beverages.

If your work doesn’t have a recycling bin in the waste room, try to talk to your boss about waste management services that involve recycling plastic or metal, or start one yourself. You may even be able to make a little extra cash from the bottle deposits.

How have you made your lunch more sustainable? Let us know in the comments!
Helpful info also found here.

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