3 Ways To Encourage Your Children To Recycle At Home

2021 is here, and amidst all the chaos going on in our world, excess waste should not be another contributing factor!

Internationally, Germany currently leads the way in waste management, with 66.1% of their waste being recycled. South Africa, however, still has a long way to go. A national report shows that out of 95 million tonnes of waste produced in 2019, less than 40% of those materials were recycled.  

It’s important to realise that our children will not understand the bigger picture of why and how recycling can make a difference, unless we embrace a recycling culture in our homes. So it’s our job as parents to show them innovative and exciting ways to deal with waste which they will value and want to follow.

Here are 3 ways to help you introduce recycling into your home, or amp up your recycling game if you already do, & encourage your children to get involved!

  1. Get your kids to help you make fun charts that explain the four recycling categories and the best way to recycle them. Put them up in your kitchen or on your fridge where the whole family can easily see it. Most packaging designs now display the familiar recycling logo - show your kids what it looks like so they can look out for it! The categories are:
  • Glass – all glass bottles and containers can be recycled, or you can keep them to reuse as great storage containers in your home.
  • Plastic – all plastic bottles can be recycled, from water and milk, to salad dressing bottles -remember to rinse them out before recycling.
  • Paper – this includes any magazines, newspapers, cardboard boxes (flatten these to maximise space), gift wrapping paper, toilet paper rolls and the list goes on!
  • Metal – you can recycle empty aerosol cans, tinned foods, tinfoil and aluminium cold drink cans our Can Crusher Kit is great to help you recycle these).

If you’re ever unsure about what can be recycled, check out where they offer a full breakdown for South African recyclers!


  1. Make accessible DIY recycling bins and create a reward system for when they are filled as an extra incentive! How about getting each child to make and decorate their own recycling bins for their rooms out of old shoe boxes? Teach them to colour code their bins to make sorting their waste easier, for example: green for plastic, yellow for paper and blue for glass. Make extra bins to place around the house, such as in the bathroom for when the toilet roll finishes.
 3. Lead by example.
Make recycling an integral part of your lifestyle and conversation at home. Remember that our children follow our lead!


Head onto your local municipality website to find out more about the recycling timetable in your neighbourhood. Most well organised municipalities have recycling trucks that run a collection once a week; however, you can also drop off your bags at a recycling centre near you.

We believe in a lifestyle that teaches our children the importance of sustainability. Recycling can be the easiest and smartest way to start making a difference, and the key to encouraging our children to recycle, is to involve them in the whole process. Let’s each do our part in making every day a little more clean and beautiful for all to enjoy.

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