Monday 26 January 2009

What a to do?

What do you do with recycled stuff?
It often seems that the stuff that we recycle actually gets downcycled into something less useful - for instance recycled plastic. It can be quite hard to get the purity that the manufacturer want from the material so we end up with things like Recycled plastic lumber.

From wikipedia "When different types of plastics are melted together they tend to phase-separate, like oil and water, and set in these layers. The phase boundaries cause structural weakness in the resulting material, meaning that polymer blends are only useful in limited applications.
Another barrier to recycling is the widespread use of dyes, fillers, and other additives in plastics. The polymer is generally too viscous to economically remove fillers, and would be damaged by many of the processes that could cheaply remove the added dyes. Additives are less widely used in beverage containers and plastic bags, allowing them to be recycled more frequently."

Other products are ones like coat hangers made from recycled paper.
I know that it is better (probably) to recycle stuff but surely it is better to try to avoid downcycling where at all possibleLink

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