During my childhood, my mum always used to tell me: “Eat all the spinach, you want to grow big and strong, don’t you?” I was a huge fan of the cartoon Popeye back then, so I believed not only my mum, but definitely the hero of my childhood, who used to eat canned spinach all the time and was super strong. Ever since, I thought spinach contained high amounts of iron. Until everything changed one faithful day in June, three years ago…
I remember, as if it was yesterday. It was a beautiful sunny day when my lifelong belief came to an abrupt ending. The headline of the article, I wish I never read was “Debunking 7 myths, we all were told as kids”. There it was: the proof, that I’ve been wrong my whole life. Spinach does contain high amounts of iron – but only if it’s dried. Not the fresh one. On top, the iron in spinach is particularly poorly absorbed. Well… that was it. To be honest, I avoid spinach until today. The betrayal is too painful.
But let’s not talk about this excruciating experience anymore. On top of that, I learned some quite astonishing facts, not only food-related, but also concerning one of my favourite topics: Recycling. There are so many myths related to this, so I decided to do the one thing, I wish the spinach-guy would have never done: write an article and clear up the most persistent myths, I could find.
I proudly present: my top 4 myths, which are clearly wrong – and, of course, the truth behind them:
Myth #1: Don’t crush the can!
Every year on World Recycling Day, you can read it everywhere: “Don’t crush the can before disposing it”. Usually, municipalities in Europe use multi-stream recycling systems, which are able to sort waste by material – especially beverage or food cans made from metal or aluminium. They are extracted by magnets, therefore it doesn’t matter, what shape they’re in. So if you still feel the need to crush your can – go ahead.
Myth #2: Recyclables need to be washed before disposing.
All recyclables are washed at the waste centre. You only need to rinse them enough so they don’t attract rats or ants. Or to prevent bad smell in your bin – but definitely not for recycling. So don’t waste water! Recyclables only need to be emptied. Rinse quickly only if soiled.
Myth #3: Products made from recycled content are lower quality.
Metals can be recycled over and over again, without any loss in quality. That’s why they can be used in many different ways: on the one hand, they are the perfect material for industrial purposes such as manufacture of airplanes, cars, ships and so on. On the other hand, they can also be used for domestic items, such as cutlery and packaging – therefore it’s essential to maintain the high quality!
Myth #4: Recycling uses more energy than making something new.
Of course processing recycled materials requires energy – so does every manufacturing process, no matter if recyclables are used or not. Actually, making products from recycled materials on average takes 50 percent less energy than products made from raw materials. Aluminium cans in particular are the energy saving champions. Producing aluminium products from recycled aluminium uses 95 percent less energy than making aluminium from fresh materials. Beat that!
Are there any other recycling myths we can debunk for you?