Recycling Is Important!
Close The Loop – Buy Recycled!
Examining Product Life cycles
Every product has a life cycle. If we concern ourselves
only with proper disposal by recycling products rather
than throwing them in the trash, we are taking a small
step toward product stewardship. But we can take bigger
steps by intervening earlier in the life cycle of the
products we consume every day.
Let’s use paper as an example, because it is one of the
simplest products to recycle yet one we often neglect.
We can choose “paper” over plastic at the supermarket.
The supermarket can buy bags made from recycled
The paper mill can buy lumber from companies that thin
trees responsibly, instead of deforesting large tracts
and leaving them open to flooding and soil erosion.
Every time a tree is cut down, another can be planted
for the future.
Buying recycled paper is an equally important step in the
recycling process – it closes the recycling loop. Even
though trees are a renewable resource, much energy and
landfill space can be conserved when we buy recycled
When buying recycled content paper, remember to look for
the highest percentage of post-consumer waste content.
Also, make sure to look for the recycling symbol, which
means that product is made out materials used before.
There may be a statement next to this symbol that mentions
the percentage of recycled-content in the product.
Confused by this symbol?
Don’t be. This one means a product can be recycled – not
that it necessarily contains recycled content.
It is important to note that the recyclability of a
product is not determined by a symbol. In most cases,
recyclability is determined by what is accepted in your
local community by recyclers, as well as the industry. In
order for a material to be truly recyclable, a market must
exist so that the material can be sold, reprocessed and
then made into a new product or material.