Nowadays recycling programs (e.g., curb side pick-up or communal drop-off areas) in communities and cities are fairly common.  Further, parks, airports, retailers, etc., are commonly offering recycling bins along-side rubbish bins.  The infrastructure and support for recycling continues to expand, making it easier and more convenient to participate in the recycling loop.  As such, you may be fairly set and comfortable in your recycling routine, but it is helpful to think of recycling as a circular process – one that does not end with collection or drop-off centers.

Think of the recycling process as a continuous loop, with three primary action points, (1) collection and processing, (2) manufacturing, and (3) purchasing recycled products.  With benefits throughout the loop, including energy conservation, reduced landfill usage, conservation of natural resources, and manufacturing job creation and expansion, among others.

It is important to remember there are two action points in the loop where consumers contribute to the recycling process – collection as well as purchasing.  The purchasing step completes the recycling loop, but also plays an important role in creating demand and expanding the market for recycled products.

There are thousands of recycled content products currently available, with the number and variety of products continuing to grow.  Products from recycled content are made from materials that otherwise would have been thrown away.  Common recycled content products include aluminum cans, egg cartons, glass containers, and newspapers – the complete list is much more extensive and continues to expand.

The bottom line being that recycling only works when there are markets for recycled products – so support the loop and purchase recycled products!

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