A recycling loop includes the design, manufacturing and marketing of products. A fragmented recycling system only moves trash around, a recycling loop collects recyclables, transforms them into useful products and distributes them in the marketplace. The symbol of recycling represents the three stages of collection, processing and market development.
Ideally a recycling loop involves energy efficient processing and production technologies that convert recycled feedstock into new raw materials that will generate high demand, practical products.
Green consumers are eager to embrace products made from recycled materials. A survey conducted by the Natural Marketing Institute found that 81% of Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability consumers (the “green” market segment) completely agree with using products made from recycled materials (compared to 27% for non-LOHAS consumers).
Re-processing and re-manufacturing are the logical extension of recycling. However, to complete the recycling loop, we need a combination of political willpower, consumer consciousness, business leadership and technological innovation.
© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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