I should recycle because the benefits of recycling in your daily life are many:
I protect the environment and my health from dangerous chemical substances which are contained in waste.
I help in relieving the environment because by participating in recycling much less rubbish is left.
I economize in raw material and energy, because the energy required for the production of goods from primary material is many times greater that the energy needed when production is made from used material.
I strengthen the economy of my country.
I help in having a cleaner and healthier environment for us and the future generations.
The Packaging Recycling Program in Cyprus is managed by Green Dot Cyprus which is the only Collective Compliance System for Packaging Waste in the country.
The Organization was set up as a non-profit organization with the initiative of the local industry and of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) as the umbrella-organization, and today its Shareholders and Members are packaging obligated businesses, and CCCI. The Organization cooperates with more than 1200 companies which operate in Cyprus and collects and manages packaging waste thus giving legal cover to its members.
Green Dot Cyprus is funded by the fees paid to the Organization by its companies – Members for the packaging of the products they sell. The cost from these fees is largely added on to the price of the products which we buy. So, it is the public who pay the cost of recycling through the products they buy. It is all of us without exception who pay for recycling, whether we participate in it or not.
While no sorting of material is done in the home, or the sorting is not the proper one, the cost of the system goes up. It is therefore in everybody’s benefit to participate in the recycling program by correctly sorting packaging at our homes.
The collection and recycling of packaging costs much more than the value of the materials collected. Green Dot Cyprus is a non-profit Organization. The main income of the Organization comes from the fees paid by its companies-members.
Any possible surplus that the Organization may have (if from expenditure one deducts the revenue) it is used for communication purposes or for the development of the Organization. The total cost of the collection and recycling programme reaches 6 million annually.
The packaging recycling program operates as follows:
Recyclable packaging is separated into three categories, PMD, Paper and Glass.
The PMD category includes plastic bottles, containers and bags, metal packaging (aluminum and tin) and paper beverage containers (of the tetrapack type).
The Paper category includes: dry cardboard boxes (medicines, shoes, cereal), and cardboard boxes, newspapers,
magazines, advertising leaflets and office paper.
And finally, the Glass category includes: glass bottles, jars and other glass containers.
In urban and suburban areas, collection for the PMD and Paper categories is made from door to door. This means that the Paper and PMD categories are collected once a week from the pavement outside the house, after they have been previously placed inside the special recycling bags. So, there is no need for bins in our neighbourhoods for these two categories for us to participate in recycling. The bins are simply supportive of the System.
In tourist areas and certain communities, PMD and Paper categories should be carried properly sorted to the recycling bins closest to them and placed in these bins accordingly.
In all areas where Green Dot Cyprus operates glass packaging is collected by bins, to which individuals should carry their packaging.
Both the bags and the bins for recycling are collected on the same day of the week by special crews to facilitate the public, but they are collected by different trucks to avoid mixing the material. So, every category of material is collected by a different truck. There are however cases where the same truck collects both the PMD and Paper categories, but this kind of truck is specially equipped to separately collect the two categories of material.
The following packaging are not a target of the System and should not be mixed with the three categories mentioned above:
(a) Plastic packaging of foodstuffs such as pre-cooked meals, dishes for frozen foodstuff, dishes for raw meats, etc and generally any packaging that contains food apart from the ones that they are included in PMD category.
(b) Plastic wrappers of all kinds (plastic wrappers of pasta, biscuits and sweets, etc.)
(c) Aluminum foil, aluminum wrappers (of chocolates, chips, sweets, etc)
(d) Paper wrappers (of chocolates, cakes, gifts, etc.)
(e) Plastic cups/plates, masks, toys
The reason that this material is not collected is because the System concentrates only in the collection of material which can easily and efficiently be recycled. Separate collection and sorting costs and it is not cost effective for anybody to collect and sort material which cannot or cannot easily be recycled. Let’s not forget that not all materials can be recycled.
It is very important that packaging should be clean of remnants of food and drink so that their recycling may be more effective as well as for sanitary reasons. Especially if one considers that in the sorting units, as well as in the ports and the recycling factories it is working people who handle this material. Furthermore, it is important to consider that remnants of food and drink, contaminate the other recycling materials in a way that they cannot be recycled. In order not to waste clean water you could wash out the packaging in already used water.
When these materials are placed together, polystyrene and nylon break up by the compression in the collection vehicles and little pieces of them get stuck on the paper. The paper recycling factories do not accept paper with pieces of polystyrene or nylon as they create problems to the operation of the factories.
Because it has been proved by the experiences of other countries of Europe that effective recycling is carried out only if material is sorted in our homes where the materials are still clean. For example, if our paper is mixed with the remnants of our food, then the largest part of the paper will not be usable and all our work will have been wasted.
So, it is important that every individual should help by properly sorting the materials at home because otherwise the cost of management will be multiplied. This cost will ultimately be paid by the individual as it is added on to the prices of products which he/she buys.
The Green Dot trademark on a packaging is simply an indication that the company which imports or packages the product in Cyprus is a member of a Collective System such as Green Dot Cyprus and contributes financially for the recycling of the packaging of the product. This logo does not declare if a packaging can by recycled or not.
The recycling bags should be used so that they can stand out in the dark for the collection crews to be aware that they contain material for recycling. Also, the special bags depict the recycling material to be entered into them so that the public may be helped in the proper sorting. Our organization has no financial benefit from the sale of these bags.
The cost of giving out free recycling bags to all is prohibitive while at the same time some people might use them for general rubbish. Also, the difference in the cost of bags that you buy is not great as instead of, for example, buying 4 black bags a week, you would be buying only 2 black and 2 for recycling. From July 1, 2021, Green Dot created its own recycling bags, which are made in Cyprus from 80% recycled materials, at much more affordable prices for the consumer.
Collection from Door-to-Door renders more and better-quality material than recycling bins. It is also a fact that where recycling bins are placed, garbage dumps are created as passers-by throw all kinds of rubbish in the bins.
Also, the effort is the collection System to be as friendly as possible to the individual, restricting as much as possible changes to his/her daily life.
In the areas where PMD and Paper collection takes place from door to door, recycling bins are not needed, except for glass. Paper and PMD are collected once a week from your pavement of your house. You do not need to look for bins. Bins are just additional.
To find out about the collection day in your area or where the nearest glass recycling bin is, you can download the mobile and tablet application ‘ReCYcling CY’ or click here or contact our call centre at 7000 0090.
After their collection, the materials are transported to 2 sorting facilities, located one in Latsia and the other in Moni. The material is then sorted at the facility and sent for management overseas. The only material which stays in Cyprus is glass which is crushed and used as raw material in cement and other building material.
All recyclable materials collected after separation are sent to licensed recycling factories abroad.
Any of the wrong materials or rubbish that people put in bags or recycling bins, can be further processed are taken to special management units for energy recovery. Every year we recycle about 60,000 tons of packaging materials.
Green Dot is responsible for the collection and recycling of PMD Packaging (plastic, metal and tetrapak packaging), Packaging and Non-Packaging Paper and Glass Packaging.
There are other materials that are recycled in Cyprus, such as oil, tires, clothing, light bulbs, batteries, electrical and electronic devices, inks, organic waste, etc. Certainly, there are other materials that can be recycled, but due to the small area of Cyprus and the small quantities collected, their recycling is not efficient. In addition, Cyprus as a small and non-industrial country does not have recycling factories.
The quantities of materials are not so large that it is profitable for a factory to operate in Cyprus. So, for all these reasons it is more efficient to send most materials abroad for recycling.
Whether some direct or indirect incentive should be given to individuals in order to participate in recycling is a decision that can be taken and imposed only by the State, but it can and should be supported by all of us. Incentives are part of a total number of tools which the State can use if it wishes to achieve a turn towards an environmental direction and therefore to the development of an environmental culture.
There is a plethora of such tools which are used successfully in many European countries for many years now. Such kinds of tools are direct incentives, such as tax cuts for people who manage their waste, through new taxation systems based on the principle of “Pay as you Throw”, but also tools such as the imposing of mandatory recycling.
Especially the system “Pay as you Throw” is a system which renders waste taxation fairer by directly linking the tax paid with the quantity of rubbish produced by each household. This means that those who properly manage their rubbish (recycling, reducing, or composting), would have a direct financial benefit, while those who do not and simply throw away everything, would have a direct financial burdening. So, there are solutions. What remains is to start applying them.
The Municipality of Aglantzia has already implemented the program “I separate, and I win” in the framework of “Pay as you Throw” program, and the Municipality of Aradippou follows. As announced by the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, the goal is for all Municipalities and Communities in Cyprus to implement programs such as “Pay as you Throw” and this is a positive development for all of us.
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