Germans are earth-conscious. They recycle…a lot. And that’s good. What’s not so good, however, is the process of figuring out exactly how to abide by the strict recycling guidelines if you aren’t from here.
Being one of the world’s pioneers in recycling, Germans have it down to a science—evident in the many colors of bins you’ll see for recycling throughout any city you walk through. One for plastic, one for metal, one for tin, one for a different kind of plastic, one for green-tinted glass, one for yellow-brown tinted glass, one for clear glass, one for paper, one for…it can be quite a confusing ordeal. And with the army of recycling men running around collecting and managing these things, not to mention the “observant” locals not-so-subtly shaking their head at your ignorance as you make your bin selection, quite an intimidating one too!
And that’s just at the park. Let’s not forget the refund machines in many supermarkets that collect certain types of glass bottles for some money back. You have to look for a particular logo on your bottle, and if it’s not there, no matter how much all the glass may seem alike, you won’t get your 50 cents for it. But more importantly, you’ll draw the ire of the people lined up behind you, who just lugged 10 kilos worth of bottles to the store to walk away with their euros!
I’m glad the Germans are this way—we should all learn from their example. But perhaps a tutorial on the flight over would make life a little easier for all of us :).