“It’s not worth separating waste, it will all be thrown together again in the end anyway”
Who does not know this sentence?
Today, on “Waste Separation Day”, we would like to counter such prejudices and explain in this blog post how important it is to separate waste and what you can do about it. We also explain how you can properly dispose of your faithful Matabooks companion after work.
In 2018, approximately 50.3 million tonnes of municipal waste were generated in Germany. This includes both private household waste and commercial waste. Per capita, this amounts to about 535 kilograms of waste, which is about 11 waste bins (120 litres) per year. Waste consumption is therefore still very high. Nowadays, waste bins and thus a special waste separation system are common in Germany. This can be traced back to 7 March 1884, when the Parisian civil servant Eugène Poubelle signed a decree obliging homeowners to provide bins for the separate collection of household waste. This historical context gave rise to today’s “Waste Separation Day”. Despite the established system, measures like this day are still needed to remind each individual to sort waste. This is necessary to ensure a circular economy and to recycle or return as much as possible.
In a circular economy, packaging or products that have already been used once are fed back into a cycle. They are either recycled or repurposed. In any case, they are reused. Above all, this protects the environment, saves resources, and thus often also costs. It also enables optimal use of the product. Germany is a pioneer in the collection and recycling of glass and paper. For more detailed information, take a look here.
Recycling and waste separation are important steps. However, the most effective way is to avoid producing so much waste in the first place. Therefore, you should make sure to avoid unnecessary packaging when shopping. For example, take fruit and vegetables in bulk or bring your own reusable bags. In addition, many cities now offer the possibility of shopping in unpacked shops. You can find out more here. Completely avoiding waste can sometimes be quite difficult, as we experience it often enough ourselves. But everyone can start with it. And for the rest that still accumulates, we need a good system that helps us to separate and reuse waste better. In Germany, a lot of plastic waste, i.e. plastic packaging, accumulates and less than 50% of it is recycled. This means that there is clearly room for improvement in this area.
Since the problem arises directly with us as consumers and we can also solve it much more precisely and better, for example by separating waste, we should do our best and become active. The more precisely we separate packaging waste in particular, the better it can be returned to the cycle and thus recycled.
Nobody is perfect, we know that. That’s why we want to encourage you to do your best, but also not to despair when things don’t go so well. As long as everyone does their part, together we can protect the environment more and better. Click here to learn more about how you can separate waste and which bin to put what in.
Waste separation also plays an important role for us. Especially in the development of our products. We therefore see it as our duty to find solutions and materials that can be returned to the circular economy after the product has been used.
Therefore, we take special care to ensure that every single component of a Matabook is easily biodegradable. All materials at Matabooks are also purely natural products and free of animal components – in other words, vegan. Furthermore, we are constantly working within our research department to optimise this process.
For our books, for example, we use grass or sweet grass paper. This is much more sustainable and resource-saving than conventional paper. Less water and energy is used in the production process, the transport routes are shorter and no chemicals are used in the production process.
The bookmarks and rubber bands, as well as the folding strips on the calendars and notebooks, are made of cotton and partly of natural rubber and are therefore also both natural products, the basic components of which are easily biodegradable.
The printing ink used is a mineral oil-free eco-ink. Here, too, no harmful substances are present. It can therefore be returned to nature or the cycle without hesitation.
The last ingredient we use is a water-based adhesive. This is free of animal components and can be dissolved in water in an environmentally friendly way.
Basically, no novels or children’s books should simply be thrown away. Especially at Matabooks, we want to publish timeless works that can be read for as long as possible. So if you have read through a book and no longer want to leave it in the cupboard, there are better alternatives than the dustbin.
Here are a few suggestions:
– Book swap with friends and/or family
– Public bookcases → click here to find one near you
– Passing on to schools and/or kindergartens
– Donation to social institutions
– Donation to a second hand shop
However, if there is no way you can continue to use the book, then you can simply dispose of the novels in the paper waste.
The disposal of children’s books is somewhat different due to different bindings. Basically, they have to be separated into their individual parts.
In the case of “Willybo-Ein Elefant auf Wanderschaft“ and “Levken in den Wolken“, you must first remove the folded strips and then dispose of them in the residual waste. The paper can then be disposed of in the paper waste. How the strip is removed is explained in more detail in the Daharas under Notebooks.
For the remaining three children’s books, the cover must be removed from the book, and the white glue disposed of in the residual waste. The rest can then be disposed of in the paper waste.
When disposing of calendars properly, it is particularly important to separate them into their individual parts.
– First, remove the elastic band with a pair of scissors. Then pull the bookmark ribbon and remove it from the book. You can now use both parts in another calendar or notebook, for a DIY project, or as gift wrapping. If you dispose of it, please do so in the residual waste.
– The second step is to detach the cover from the inner part of the book. The white binding can then be disposed of in the residual waste.
– The rest is then just paper and cardboard and can be disposed of in the paper bin or waste paper.
→ If you don’t want anyone else to read your entries, remember to shred your pages before you throw them away.
As the Taras are held together with two metal staples on the spine, you should remove the two staples and dispose of them in the residual waste. The rest can be disposed of in the paper waste.
For the Daharas, you should cut off the black or white strip on the spine. Thanks to the water-soluble glue, this is very easy.
Soak the book in water and peel the pages off the black/white strip. You can then simply dispose of the strips and bookmark ribbons in the residual waste. When the leaves have dried again, they can be disposed of in the paper waste.
The Seed books from Matabooks are a real highlight. Since individual wildflower seeds are incorporated into the cover, you can detach them and plant them in the garden or in a pot. If everything goes well, you will end up with beautiful flowers.
→ Find out more in our blog post “Turning books into plants – but how?”
Dispose of the rest, as already explained with the daharas.
Weekly planners, office supplies, postcards, delivery notes, invoices and mailing bags can still be used very well as scratch paper or DIY material. Otherwise, everything made of paper can be disposed of in the paper waste.
Please note that the window of the long envelopes must be removed and disposed of in the yellow bag.
Of course, we hope that this blog post has helped you to get a better orientation in the confusion of waste separation. Test your knowledge right here in our quiz and find out if you are now a pro at separating waste!