From trash to raw material

Even nature produces its own “trash.” Leaves, fruit and other waste are, however, absorbed anew into a continuous and sustainable system of recycling. As happens in the environment, our society faces the challenge of executing a recycling process that is as efficient as nature’s process; in other words, one that is capable of absorbing and reusing most (if not all) of the trash and once again including it in our chain of consumption.

For this to work out, it is worth paying attention to some detail of how trash is created: a study done by SOS Mata Atlântica last year shows that 60% of trash that we produce is organic waste, providing an interesting opportunity to rethink our relationship with food. In the state of São Paulo alone, the amount of trash produced during the period of 1 week is enough to fill a soccer stadium with capacity for 80,000 people.

When it comes to the waste produced, separation of household trash and disposal through recycling coops are a big help. This same study done by SOS Mata Atlântica has some interesting data: around 600,000 people gain income from the sale of recyclable materials, a number that could be greater with the support of City Halls. That means that in addition to benefitting the environment, we can also rely on a contribution for economic growth.

Our relationship with the production and processing of trash can be optimized through the “5 R’s.” These are 5 simple ideas that can be applied day-to-day, at home, at school and in companies:

  • Rethink habits and attitudes;
  • Reduce waste and trash;
  • Reuse to increase the useful lives of products;
  • Refuse products that harm health and the environment;
  • Recycle and transform trash into a new product.

Spread these habits and contribute to raising awareness among more people. Each of us is responsible for doing our own part! To learn more about access, see the full
SOS Mata Atlântica study in the Environmental Educator Guide.


Este post também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)