Three ways people understand Recycle

text and drawings by Frits Ahlefeldt

I hear people talk about recycling – but often they talk about different things – here are three different things people mean when they say they recycle:

  1. Cleaning and re-using the same product
  2. Breaking the product apart to create new products from the re-used material
  3. Using the product as fill or stuffing it in somewhere, for a few dollars

It is not easy quick to tell the difference, many work to become part of the green wave, doing as they have always done. Often it can reminds one of greenwashing – pretending something is recycling when in reality – it is anything but

But as people learn more and more about recycling it is also getting more clear what we can call recycling and what are the best kinds of recycling – because there are many and they are very different in how many resources they use and how their long term use will affect the environment

Drawings:

Drawing of ways to recycle
Ways to recycle plastic Drawing with text

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