Icelandic Garbage Popular Export Product Skip to content

Icelandic Garbage Popular Export Product

Every week Icelandic waste disposal company Sorpa exports 40 containers filled with old newspapers, magazines and plain paper to Gothenburg. Sorpa is the biggest exporter of paper for recycling to Sweden where it is used for making new products.

“Waste issues have changed for the past few years, so now we consider waste more like a product than garbage,” Sorpa employee Ragna I. Halldórsdóttir told Fréttabladid.

“People’s awareness of the environment has increased considerably in recent years and our material is very sought-after. It is rather clean and it is rare that people mix other rubbish in with the paper.”

According to Halldórsdóttir, the last time it was researched, people returned 40 percent of newspapers for recycling. “We encourage people to return more.”

Around 82 percent of all plastic bottles and aluminum cans are recycled. If for example the US would recycle as high a percentage of cans as Iceland does, a few aluminum smelters could be closed down because it is much more efficient to recycle the metal than make new aluminum, according to Fréttabladid.

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