Receiving merit badges for recycling.370.
(photo credit: Yoni Reiff)
Israelis recycled approximately 29 large plastic bottles per person in 2012, a 7
percent boost in their recycling behavior from the previous year, new data from
the ELA recycling corporation reveals.
ELA and Adam Teva V’Din (Israel
Union for Environmental Defense) jointly released a survey of the country’s
plastic bottle recycling behaviors for 2012 on Sunday night, in conjunction with
the latter’s Fifth Annual National Recycling Conference held during the day on
Monday. On average, each Israeli citizen recycled about 29 family-sized (1.5
liter) bottles – or 1.26 kilograms of plastic – during 2012, in comparison to
the approximately 27 bottles that they recycled in the year 2011, the data said.
In line with the survey results, the two organizations also granted “Outstanding
Recycling Badges” to several municipalities and regional councils whose
residents recycled bottles on a significant scale.
The Central Arava
Regional Council topped the charts for 1.5 liter bottle recycling, achieving an
average of 139 bottles – or 5.85 kg. – per person for the year. Trailing Central
Arava in this sector was Hevel Eilot Regional Council, with 86 bottles – or 3.62
kg. – per person for the year, and Binyamina-Givat Ada, with 82 bottles – or
3.47 kg. – per person for the year.
The municipality with the highest
number of the 1.5 liter bottles collected in total in 2012 was Sha’arei Tikva,
with 50,178 bottles, followed by Elkana with 41,888 bottles and Givat Shmuel
with 41,283 bottles, according to the organizations.
Also receiving merit
badges were those cities and local authorities that showed the greatest
transformation in their recycling sectors.
Among the local and regional
authorities, Kafr Kasim showed an increase in 240% recycling half liter bottles
from 2011 to 2012, with residents recycling 1.7 tons in total instead of their
former total of a half ton. Also showing marked improvement was Sedot Negev,
with a 203% rise, and Shfaram, with a 195% rise, the data said.
cities category, Modi’in Illit showed the biggest improvement, with an 87%
increase in bottles deposited per person for the year – 23 in 2012 compared with
12 in 2011. Ramle bottle recycling rose 62%, while Tiberias recycling rose
“The extraordinary success of the recycling revolution in plastic
bottles brings Israel in line with Western European countries, where the process
began two decades ago, and Israel passes the United States,” said Nehama Ronen,
chairwoman of ELA. “There is no doubt that the success of the revolution is in
no small amount thanks to the children, who are the most enthusiastic
ambassadors of the recycling subject today.”
In the past decade since ELA
was established and under the framework of the Bottle Deposit Law that was
initiated by Adam Teva V’Din, the Israeli population has recycled more than 5.5
billion family-sized bottles and other bottles requiring deposit. In the last
year, ELA has added 3,000 new recycling bins in 90 municipal and regional
authorities across the country, bringing the national total to 19,000 recycling
bins, the company said.
While the data demonstrates that many cities and
local authorities have internalized the importance of recycling and mobilizing
toward environmental protection, the Israeli public still faces an enormous
challenge in reducing the amount of waste it generates, according to Amit
Bracha, executive director of Adam Teva V’Din.
“Hundreds of thousands of
kilograms of plastic bottles that are collected each month only reminds us how
important it is to consume less and to reach a state of ‘zero trash,’” Bracha
Meanwhile, although plastic bottle collection has become
increasingly successful, the mayors of cities and heads of local authorities
must work to promote programs that will encourage the separation of household
organic and packaging waste at source, which together constitute 60% of
municipal waste, added Gilad Ostrovsky, head of waste and recycling at Adam Teva
“The success of bottle recycling proves that the public is
prepared to invest in and work for the environment,” Ostrovsky said.