Is Recycling Part of the Circular Economy, or is it Outdated?

Here is an interesting concept….Recycling is outdated and not a part of the circular economy. The article in The Hill focuses on plastics within the recycling stream. A primary contention is that we do not capture enough plastic in our recycling programs and most of it goes into the environment (TRUE). The second contention is that once recycled, it still ends up in the waste stream because it cannot be recycled again (Somewhat true).

The circular economy

In practice, we don’t even think about what happens to our plastics when they are recycled into new products. When we “downcycle” plastic into lower grade materials, we are certainly not entering the circular economy. As noted in the Cradle to Cradle concept, the idea of a circular economy is one where the material never leaves the production stream but is constantly recirculated.

Glass, Aluminum and steel have this potential. Paper at least degrades and can be sustainably replaced (if done correctly).

The problem with plastics has been covered at length…too many types in too many forms that cannot be recycled within the framework of a circular pattern. The question then is what do we do about it?

Read The Full Article Here:
Recycling is an outdated solution — it’s time for a circular economy

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