International Recycling Day had us chatting a lot about the environment and sustainability in the Irish Tatler office this week. It turns out we're not as good at it as we thought! Are you?
Like lots of people, we’ve embraced recycling in recent years. We religiously (mostly) rinse and squish things to make the most of the green recycling bin - and throw our compostable waste in the brown bin. Yes, we take it very seriously! And may even have been a bit smug about it too.
Then we read an article on the Irish Times website and it blew our tiny minds. In particular this video featuring Michele Hallahan, a recycling ambassador for Voice Ireland, made us realise that we’ve been recycling all wrong for ages!
See? It’s all very confusing and a little disheartening too. We were stunned to discover that soft plastics (ones you can squish up in your hands) can’t be recycled here and paper towels and napkins should be put in the compost bin, not the green bin.
Reycling as much as possible is becoming increasingly important but we may as well do it properly. Different countries, even different waste firms, have varying requirements and abilities when it comes to recycling. To make things easier for the Irish public members of the Irish Waste Management Association now use the lists on a new website, Recyclinglistireland.ie.
Four Ways to Up Your Eco Game
Entrants in the The Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture competition
Rethink What You Wear
The fashion world has been catching up with environmental issues. There’s been a move away from fast fashion, towards more sustainable methods and a focus on quality. Young Irish designers are getting in on things too. Entrants in the The Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture competition created truly impressive pieces of wearable and recycled art. Mary Brody of Our Lady’s Bower School, Athlone designed a dress entitled Moo (second from left, above) which won the overall trophy The dress was made with 300 milk cartons, cut into shapes and connected together by over 30,000 O rings.
Eco Can Be Luxe Too
Coffee company, Nespresso teamed up with famed stationer, Caran d’Ache to create a special version of the classic 849 pen. The limited edition pen is made from recycled Nespresso aluminium coffee capsules. Nespresso founded its first recycling scheme in Switzerland in 1991, soon after the brand launched. Today its global recycling scheme covers 39 countries and in Ireland, used pods can be dropped into Nespresso boutiques. The pen is €42.50 and on sale from 26 May.
You may have your travel mug glued to your hand of a morning but eco-friendly items Dutch designer, Remco Van Der Leij created, ZUPERZOZIAL, an ethically produced range of table wear based on biodegradable bamboo and corn. The products are reinforced with with melamine-resin for shape and durability – so no fear of cups collapsing mid-sup. The collection is both dishwasher safe and food safe and you can shop it on Smallable and Amazon.
Go For Green Beauty
Some brands pay what could only be described as lip service to environmental awareness. While things like a bring-back-your-empties incentive or recyclable plastic packaging are helpful to do real good, you want a brand that lives and breathes green (so to speak). Enter: Tata Harper. As well as being eco certified, the products are formulated, batched and packaged in the brand’s lab on a 1200 acre farm in Vermont. Unsurprisingly most of the packaging is glass (and therefore recyclable) and the brand even uses soy ink for printing.
Tata Harper: The Queen of Green Skincare