With circular economy principles catching on fast in New Zealand and around the world, buying products and packaging made from recycled materials is set to become as routine as placing our cans, plastics and glass out on the kerb for recycling.
Here are five great reasons to buy items made of recycled materials.
1. Reduces the amount of natural resources being extracted
Buying recycled is not just about reducing the amount of waste that goes into landfill, but also reducing the amount of ‘virgin’ materials that are extracted from the earth for manufacturing. It makes sense to reuse the materials we already have available through recycling, rather than throwing items away after a short time and extracting more raw materials.
2. Reduces energy use
Buying items made of recycled material reduces the amount of energy needed to create products. There is a significant difference in the amount of energy it takes to extract new resources compared to recycling used resources.
Did you know? – Making an aluminium can from recycled cans takes 95 per cent less energy than making one from virgin material.
3. Increases demand for recyclables
Recycling works like any market - you need both supply and demand. Simply put, the more people that choose to buy recycled products, the more demand there will be for recyclable materials like plastic and glass, making these materials more valuable. That’s a good thing – as we need recycling systems to be sustainable over time.
4. Makes you feel good!
As outlined above, buying recycled is much better for the environment than buying products made from ‘virgin’ materials - so you can shop knowing you’re doing your bit to reduce the impact of your purchase. Gifts made from recycled materials are a great choice and leave the receiver feeling good too – so if you’re buying gifts, choose items made with recycled content.
5. Supports the circular economy
By choosing to buy recycled, you’re supporting environmentally conscious businesses. When consumers support businesses that do the right thing, others will be motivated to do the right thing too.