In my opinion I think recycled products are great, but I’d like to see more emphasis in reusing products so that we can conserve some of the energy used in the recycling process. I think it’s a little tough though with the way our economy works: a lot of stuff that is or can be recycled has to do with food packaging and since food travels a lot from its point of origin to point of sale, packaging laws are a bit strict for safety regulation. What I see as ideal is some type of system where we can return the packaging our food came in to the food supplier so that it can be reused rather than recycled. For example in my town we get our eggs and honey from local producers so we always return egg cartons and plastic honey containers to them so they can be used again. I think for this to be efficient though, more people would have to be getting large portions of food from local sources like farmers’ markets.
i say so because look how much we have learned from are past and look at how it is affecting are future
I agree wholeheartedly with americalibre‘s assessment. Re-using products should come first, and recycling second. Finding creative uses for discarded items is great as well. I volunteer at a nature/science center in Davis that keeps a collection of used cardboard, plastic bottle caps, and other odd items that kids can use to create all sorts of cool things. You can do this at home, too. Just keep some stuff around your house and think of things that you can do with them. I had a roommate who used strips of plastic bags like yarn to crochet stuff.
I would like to see an emphasis on using less. We spend so much oil and energy making packaging for products. In addition, most recyclables are downcycled, meaning that the melted down materials are not capable of being reused into a product of the same quality as the original. In plastics, the polymers begin to break down over time, so virgin resins have to be added to make the recycled plastics strong enough to keep using.
Even though municipalities are begining to collect and recycle more materials, many curbside recyclers only take #1 and #2 (PET and HDPE) plastics. Polypropylene (#5 plastic) is reused a lot in containers and razor blade handles (many recycled content items sold at stores are PP). I would like to see municipalities collecting as many different numbered plastics as possible to ensure people can keep recycling.
If people find their own ways to recycle products, they are often upcycled (made into a product in equal or greater value) such as turning wine bottles into lamps, or using waste products to make artwork or mosaics.
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