Our current approach to recycling stemmed from the dire need for resources during the second world war; for the first time since the industrial revolution, our society started analysing our use of materials, the subsequent waste it generates, and how we can potentially reuse it.
Several decades later, the 70’s saw the professionalisation of the recycling sector and the appearance of the famous green three-arrowed recycling logo. Today, with more than thirty years of a rising awareness on global warming and environmental health, our society has been relentlessly developing and innovating new ways to reduce the impact of our garbage waste on the planet.
Currently, recycling is based on three fundamental rules:
Through the selective sorting of our waste, reduce the amount of recyclable materials dumped in tips.
By giving a second life to second-hand objects (mobile phones, furniture, clothing,...) instead of being thrown away, we reduce the amount of wasted non-recyclable materials, and further avoid consuming new resources.
Through either a physical or chemical transformation, recyclable materials can be reformed and reused into new objects.
Over the last decade, Switzerland has become the European champion in glass and plastic (PET) recycling, and is one of the countries with the highest rate of recycled material per inhabitant.
This record is a consequence of a growing public awareness to issues surrounding recycling, as well as the Swiss government providing local tips across cantons. In addition, Geneva has seen citizen movements rise in the last twenty years with the aim to promote environmentally-friendly concepts; sites such as keepinuse.ch and ge-repare.ch are aiming to give a second life to our everyday objects by either repairing them or finding someone who might find a use for them. Other organisations, such as Caritas or the “Armée du Salut”, sell public donations to raise money for local charities.
A second movement which has become recently very popular aims at reducing our food waste from restaurants and supermarket chains: in Switzerland alone, more than 2.3 million tons of food are wasted each year. In Geneva, apps such as “Too Good To Go” and “Sav’Eat” have saved thousands of tons of edible food from waste and redistributed it across to charities. Furthermore, many households have started using compost as a method to further reduce their alimentary waste, as 50% of food thrown away is actually domestic.
On the 13th of April, we will be holding our open days here at Spell, and this year we will be promoting an ecological mindset towards recycling and reusing materials to raise awareness in both children and adults on how our individual actions can have a global impact.
Thus, we would like to extend our invitation and ask you to bring a bag full of common recyclables (PET plastic, cardboards,...) for the children to build an amazing work of art during our fun-tas-tic workshops. Furthermore, if you have any undesirable second hand objects such as books, toys or clothing, we will be holding a collection on the day which we will then redistribute to local charities across Geneva.
All the recycled materials used in the works of art will be brought by Spell to local tips for recycling at the end of the day.