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Martin Murray

Closed Loop Recycling

By November 13, 2012

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Closed Loop Recycling Manufacturers require raw materials and one raw material that we as consumers can create for them is raw material made from recycled items. Earth911 has been describing "closed loop recycling" for some time and it's this concept that we can all be involved in. "Closed Loop" recycling means that the production of new finished goods is made up from post-consumer waste that is collected, recycled and used as a raw material to make new finished goods. There are a number of ways we as consumers can help with this process. We can recycle aluminum cans, than can be recycled to make new cans, or we can recycle plastic bottles that can be recycled into polyester for many uses such as clothing.

The closed loop is symbolized in the recycling logo, which has been around for some 40 years, and depicts the steps in the closed loop process. Initially there is the collection of the items from the consumer that are ready to be recycled. Then there is the second step, the manufacturing of new finished goods from the raw material derived from the collected items. Lastly there is the final step which is where the consumer purchases the finished goods that are made from the recycled material. This in turn can be recycled and the closed loop continues. With aluminum cans an estimated 68 percent of each aluminum can sold in the U.S. is made from recycled materials. That could be higher if consumers and commerce tried to increase our commitment to recycling products.

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November 14, 2012 at 8:57 pm
(1) MH Gould says:

Very interesting subject. I always wonder what the recycling logo stood for. I think you need to keep talking about this as manufacturers need to use more recycled materials, instead of using “new” raw materials.

November 22, 2012 at 8:53 am
(2) Jack Gertenbach says:

I did not realise that the recycling logo was the closed loop process….thanks for that. I guessed that glass and aluminum could be recycled for ever, but some items like paper and softer materials cannot. Needed a bit more info on that.

November 23, 2012 at 11:04 am
(3) Eddie Sudharmono says:

Recycling is very important, thanks for the information. Could you give us a list of recycling facilities or companies that sell recycled raw materials?

November 24, 2012 at 10:19 am
(4) Mike Mesman says:

Interesting article on the closed loop recycling thing for Aluminum. Lots of facts that I did not know.

November 25, 2012 at 2:46 pm
(5) Jeff Harris says:

I work at a company that recycles all the scrap metal that we have. The price for scrap has gone up a lot and it is so easy now to get anything recycled.

November 26, 2012 at 6:17 pm
(6) Callan Zecharias says:

I am very interested in this subject and was wondering if there are any more examples of items that can fit into this closed-loop scenario?

November 27, 2012 at 9:56 am
(7) Gete Freaulai says:

My parents are from Ethiopia and they tell me that the people recycle everything and do not waste things like we do here in America. I am very sad when I see landfills of rubbish.

November 29, 2012 at 3:13 pm
(8) Paula F. Redman says:

Interested in this subject and would like to know more about other materials that can be included in this “closed loop”. Is it just metals or can plastics and paper by “closed loop”. Can someone give me a definitive answer?

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