Recycled Materials

Recycling is the process of collecting and processing used materials, that would be thrown away, to turn them into new products.

A water bottle made from recycled plastic.

image source: https://gearpatrol.com/2018/04/22/recycled-materials-products/

Introduction of recycling

The environmental movement of the 1970s

Although recycling may seem like a modern concept introduced with the environmental movement of the 1970s, it’s actually been around for thousands of years. But, after the industrial age, a large-scale recycling plan was needed to minimize the effects of disposable objects’ mass production on the environment.


Image source: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/04/15/when-the-earth-moved

WHY?

Recycling is an important factor in conserving natural resources and greatly contributes towards improving the environment. Recycling also offers a sustainable solution to regular waste streams by lowering our input into municipal landfills and helping extend the expected life of a landfill by decades, drastically lowering our environmental impact. Product development from recycled materials is also the key to maximize the benefits of recycling. This leads to a number of economic opportunities to remanufacture products with the recovered material.

Ocean pollution

image source: https://www.thehagueinstituteforglobaljustice.org/latest-insights/latest-insights/commentary/a-sea-of-debris-oceans-governance-and-the-challenge-of-plastic-pollution/

HOW?

Recycling is broken down into three steps as follows:

Material recovery facility process.
  • Collecting and processing can be accomplished in several ways: some communities have curbside programs to pick up your recyclables on the street.  Others have community drop off bins that you can stop by and deliver your recycling;
  • Once its recyclate quality is established, the recyclable material will be sorted, cleaned, baled and sent to a plant to be converted to a marketable raw material;
  • Products are made with recycled raw material, returned to the market and purchased by consumers, finishing the recycling loop.

image source: https://www.advanceddisposal.com/for-mother-earth/education-zone/mrf-diagram.aspx

most common recycled materials

  • Glass
Concrete tiles by Guillaume Credoz made with different types of recycled glass.

image source: https://www.dezeen.com/2017/06/26/roundup-eight-best-recycled-design-projects-driven-by-trash-crisis-beirut-design-week/

  • Plastic
The Parley x Adidas collaboration is made recycling plastic objects from the ocean.

image source: https://www.yezshoes.com/search/adidas-parley-boost

  •  Paper
Various types of toilet paper, napkins, paper towels and even paper sheets are made with recycled used paper.

image source: https://www.hunker.com/12281742/what-products-are-made-from-recycled-paper

  • Textiles
A leader in the recycled materials space, Patagonia’s iconic Snap-T fleece pullover is 85% of recycled fleece.

image source: https://www.patagonia.com/product/womens-synchilla-lightweight-fleece-snap-t-fleece-pullover/25455.html

  • Metal
ReCycle handcrafts bikes from recycled aluminium and renewable cork.

image source: http://zerowastememoirs.com/10-amazing-products-made-using-recycled-materials/

  • Organics
Wall insulator and packing materials made using mycelium, a bacteria found in rotting organisms like tree trunks and agricultural byproducts.

image source:https://www.citymetric.com/skylines/9-building-materials-made-entirely-waste-products-932

info source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recycling#Quality_of_recyclate

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