Even though recycling will not be the solution for countless landfills piling up and our oceans floating around with 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic, we have to start somewhere. You can reduce your consumption by small choices in everyday life, but let’s be honest; it’s not yet that easy in Macedonia. Recently you could see people taking their reusable bags to stores – because the government made plastic bags chargeable. It’s a minimal start towards innovative packaging of products, but it’s a start.
So, when you create trash in Macedonia, what can you do with it? Recycling bins are slowly popping out to neighborhoods. But HOW to recycle – well, that’s another story.
What can you recycle in Macedonia?
Plastic, metal, glass, cardboard and paper. By following numbers that should be found with every packaging material, you can see if the item is recyclable or not. Few examples of materials to recycle: Milk cartons, plastic bottles, shampoo & soap bottles, cigarette boxes, tuna and bean cans, glass bottles and containers, office papers, cardboard boxes egg containers…
Wash what you recycle
Chunks of food or liquids can contaminate a batch of recycling and attract pests. Your recyclables don’t need to be dishwasher clean, but give them a rinse and leave them to dry before throwing them into a bin. Don’t, however, wash them with soaps and hot water, as that will use more energy – which makes the process less ecological. A quick rinse with cold water to your yogurt bottle or tuna can is all that’s needed to wash out the leftovers.
Where to recycle in Macedonia?
There are recycling bins in many neighbourhoods in Skopje. Yellow for plastic and metal, blue for paper and cardboard, green for glass. The AirCare App, where you can see the pollution levels on your community also has a map of recycling points in Macedonia – check it out!
Electronic waste you can take to a store where electronic equipment is sold. They are obliged to take it. You can also call Zero Waste (070-236-000) to pick it up from your home.
No one is expected to turn fully eco in a night – that’s not even possible. We start where we can, even if the society we live in makes it hard. That’s why we need more noise and more action to make the process accessible for everyone.
EPA: Facts and figures about materials waste and recycling – National overview facts and figures
Data topics: What a waste – Trends in solid waste management
National Geographic – Article: Oceans plastics sea trash science marine debris