MAKE a big difference in Mzansi by getting rid of your festive waste responsibly.Grab some refuse bags and check if each item is compost, waste or recyclable.Packaging Gift wrapping paper can be recycled as long as it does not include plastic cellophane, metallic wrapping and glitter. As a general rule, if the wrapping paper rips without effort, it should be fine to recycle. The same is true for envelopes and paper cards. Cardboard boxes can be recycled, but should be flattened first. While plastic shopping bags can be recycled, bubble wrap can’t. Rather re-use it for wrapping fragile gifts or items in storage. Food containersPlastic and cardboard food and beverage containers such as plastic bottles, ice-cream containers and milk cartons can go into the recycling bin, but they need to be empty and cleaned. Recycling these reduces their environmental impact of waste.GlassWine bottles and glass containers can be recycled. And they should be, as glass is one of the longest-lasting man-made materials. Estimates are that it takes 1 million years for a glass bottle to break down naturally. If some wine glasses get broken in the merriment, keep in mind that broken glass should not be recycled – rather wrap it and throw it away with your general waste.What is not for recyclingPlastic Christmas trees. Re-use it but if you need to throw it away it, use your rubbish bin.Christmas tree lights can be disposed of in special containers at many retail stores. Tinsel and baubles are not recyclable. If it is not re-usable it should go into your rubbish bin. Ribbons and bows also can’t be recycled but can be re-used.Dispose of batteries in special hazardous waste bins at many supermarkets. Batteries contain heavy metals and toxic chemicals which get in the water supply.
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