know thine enemy: plastic

In order to conquer the enemy you have to know the enemy. And enemy, your name is plastic. We may live in a small country, but there is nothing small about our consumption of plastic here in Israel - especially in recent years. Approximately 600 million large beverage bottles and 300 million small beverage bottles are consumed in Israel each year, with a 10% - 15% annual growth rate. Plastic constitutes 28% of the volume and 11% of the weight of Israeli waste.

In 2005, the average Israeli citizen produced 1.8 kg of garbage every day - a total national waste of 4.2 million tons during that year. This amount increases by 4% - 5% each year and by 2010 the space used to bury waste will be all used up.

Pretty scary stuff, right?

There's an upside, though. Separating and recycling your waste at the source (meaning, in your house before you take out the trash) could lead to a 60% reduction in the amount of waste transferred to waste burial. Only 20% of the plastic bottles produced in Israel are currently recycled, but if more of them were recycled it would make a big difference in the amount of space required to dump our garbage. (Or, alternatively, you could stop drinking bottled water altogether and get a Brita, whose filter can also be recycled.)

But first you have to know what you can recycle. Most people already know that you can recycle empty bottles from water, soda, etc. But did you know that you can also recycle the empty bottles from your shampoo, cleaning supplies, cosmetics, and cooking supplies? In fact, you can recycle any plastic container marked with one of the triangular recycling symbols above except for the yellow symbol with the number 3 inside. The stamps are usually imprinted on the bottom of the bottles.

For more information about plastic recycling in Israel, see the Aviv Recycling website.


RecyclingPin said...

Hi, (Sorry for post this in here but couldn't find your e-mail...please, delete the comment after read).

We have created the RecyclingPin Initiative and we like to know if you want to talk about it in your Blog or add a RecyclingPin to it to spread the recycling message.

The idea behind the RecyclingPins is to use a virtual pin, a RecyclingPin, in blogs, pages, forums, etc., to remember all visitors the responsibility to Waste Recycling, Separation and Reutilization!

Please go to for more information:

Thank you!

Best regards,
Nuno Matos

Spread the Recycling Message:

Oriyah said...

It seems this is an old blog and hasn't been updated lately so hopefully you get comment notifications in your email or something.
I've been looking for info on recycling in Israel, and it is SO HARD TO FIND. Are you sure that all plastics up to #7 can be recycled (with the exception of 3? And why not 3?) Where can one recycle metal cans? And is there a number to call to verify this info?