Okay, got to get this off my chest… Opinions are fully mine, and are up to debate.
One of my favorite recycling / crafting channel on youtube is myfroggystuff. She can turn anything into fantastic, and if you don’t count paints and glues, most of the stuff she uses is recycled – and I mean really recycled, like old homework and the plastic from doll packaging most just throw away! Unless they are NRFB people and collect packaging as much as dolls.
This kind of people take items – such as plastic – that can not really be recycled, and turn them into usable items, thus prolonging the life of the so called waste plastic.
Now there are also “recyclists” and “upcyclists”, who on the other hand, take an item that could actually be recycled properly, and turn it into toxic waste.
I will showcase with two household items, that when empty most throw in common trash without blinking an eye. Please don’t mind my sloppy gluing, I hate using glue and try to avoid it…
First. A metal container of mustard with plastic top. (I don’t mean to advertise, but if it’s true that bloggers may get free gifts, I wouldn’t mind saying Auran sinappi is my favorite mustard)
CRAFTER A: takes the cap, makes it into a pincushion. Cute, and it actually has a purpose
CRAFTER B: is a clever genius, taking the container instead and making it into an earring. They tag it “steampunk” at etsy.
RECYCLER: Puts the metal container into appropriate recycling bin, so it can actually be RECYCLED and used to make new metal. Mining is reduced. Nature likey. The cork, however is plastic… but it can be still recycled as energy waste, where it will be burned. Not so nature likey, but still better than nothing.
Second. An empty milk cartridge.
CRAFTER A: Takes only the plastic ring and cap (I HATE THOSE! Who is the idiot who decided to put plastic in a carton?! Tetrapak was fine, and easily recycled before, why add plastic? What a waste…), makes the ring into a ring base…
And the cap transforms into a dollhouse pie.
CRAFTER B: takes the milk cartridge. Adds snaps, trims, decorations, handles, and makes it a handbag! They call it “upcycled” and pat themselves in the back. How clever.
Now, don’t laugh, this is an actual thing, to make “recycled” bags from food packaging.
I admit, it CAN be done beautifully, but because it takes time and patience, most do not bother, and even sell wallets glued together from juice boxes..
Now, more than the fact that I have no clue how those people get rid of the smell of milk gone sour, or other foody smells, I get angry because I like to think myself as a:
RECYCLER: You do know what that picture stands for? Yes, recycling. Recycle the carton into right bin, and it will be recycled into making new products.
But, add a ton of hot glue, metal studs, rhinestones, plastic, etc. it is no longer fit to be recycled as intended, but just another piece of un-recyclable waste.
So, as you can see, there is recycling, and then there is “recycling”. I really don’t mean to dis encourage people from experimenting with all available supplies, but sometimes it might be good to stop and think, what is reasonable and what is not.
Should you turn that empty bag of french fries into a purse you most likely won’t even use (if you do plan on using, go ahead! I’m all for crazy accessories!) instead of actually recycling it as energy waste? And instead, when you’re thinking of throwing that awful old shower curtain away, could you possibly wash it, and make it into a water proof pool/ beach bag you can carry your wet swimsuits and towels?