It’s great that you want to recycle more, but we all have to close the loop by demanding recycled products. There is little point recycling all your newspapers if you then purchase virgin paper for your home! The recycling symbol is something to bear in mind at all times – it’s a circle, and you need to help close the loop of that circle to complete the cycle.
Waste online put it succinctly: “The future of recycling ultimately depends on there being a market for the materials collected. Recycling is not just collecting materials and taking them to the recycling bank, it is about “closing the loop” and buying recycled too. Paper mills cannot continue to produce recycled paper if people do not buy items made from it.”
I have to admit, it took me a happy year of recycling and feeling very virtuous about my landfill saving attempts to realise I was only helping with part of the bigger picture. I needed to BUY recycled products back to keep the wheel turning.
Purchasing recycled products creates markets for materials recovered through recycling. Completing this loop leads to sustainability and conserves resources and energy. Creating demand ensures recycling continues and the loop is complete!
Now we buy recycled toilet paper, kitchen roll and printer paper. I’ve bought a couple of recycled items of clothing; fleeces made from old plastic bottles and we recently won a pair of recycled flip flops for Little miss Green which are fantastic quality; much better than the £2 crappy pair you buy every summer.
The range of recycled products available is growing all the time. Everything from garden benches, garden decking, home insulation to pet bedding is available as a recycled option. Check out the Recycled products guide for information and inspiration.
What is your favourite recycled product?