Home > Outside The Home > Buy Recycled

Buy Recycled

By: Scott McBride - Updated: 7 Nov 2010 | comments*Discuss
Recycled Household Waste Environment

Recycling household waste is a big help to the environment, as it saves natural resources and reduces the amount of rubbish sent to landfill sites. That's only half the job, however, and it's just as important to actively support recycling by making a conscious effort to buy products made from recycled materials.

Buying recycled items helps to increase demand for the reclaimed materials collected by recycling schemes and encourages shops to stock more recycled products. It can also reduce the amount of materials going to landfill sites, conserve energy and resources and create jobs.

Recycled products fall into three categories. The best for the environment are those made from 100 per cent recovered household or commercial waste. Some recycled products are made partly from materials recovered from waste and others are made from waste recovered during processing.

Exploding the Myths

There are plenty of myths surrounding recycled products, namely that they are expensive, hard to find, unattractive to look at, poor quality and consume more energy and resources than a product made from primary materials. The truth is very different. Recycled products should not cost more and are often competitively priced. They are increasingly found in high street stores and on supermarket shelves, and in terms of the way they look, it is impossible to distinguish between many recycled and non-recycled items.

Materials like aluminium, steel and glass can all be recycled repeatedly without a loss in quality. Paper does suffer quality reduction and so can be recycled a limited number of times, but, high quality recycled paper is still readily available. Many recycled products offer significant savings in terms of energy and water as well as raw materials. For example, by saving trees, electricity and water, every tonne of recycled paper results in 74 per cent less air pollution and 34 per cent less water pollution than manufacturing the same amount of paper from virgin wood pulp.

There are a few simple steps all consumers can take to ensure their purchases have less impact on the environment.

  • Avoid products with excess packaging and try to choose items packaged in recycled materials.
  • Recycle rags instead of buying new cloths or paper products.
  • Buy long-life, energy-efficient and rechargeable products.
  • Choose refillable or remanufactured computer printer cartridges and return spent cartridges for recycling.
  • Use washable cups, plates and cutlery instead of paper or plastic disposable ones.
  • Pick recycled tissues, toilet paper, kitchen rolls, writing paper, envelopes and refuse sacks.
  • Ask store managers to introduce new ranges of recycled products.
  • Persuade family and friends to buy recycled products.
  • Find out if decision makers in the workplace have considered using recycled products.

The range of recycled products on the market is growing all the time and they perform just as well as items made from raw materials. Before buying a product it's worth finding out of there is an equivalent one made from recycled materials. The wide variety of recycled products already available includes chairs, plant pots, dustbins, clothes, glass ornaments, toys, garden hoses, wellington boots, coasters, mouse mats, bollards, padded mail bags, pens, video cassettes gift cards and park benches.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • RBK
    Re: Why Climate Change is Needed
    Needs funding for developing eco friendly, self sustained factory made affordable & low cost buildings, roads and transportation…
    17 February 2018
  • Campsiteowner1
    Re: Grants Available For Your Business
    Hi there, I run a campsite in snowdonia and I’m looking to make my business greener. We already provide recycling. I was…
    9 February 2018
  • Cat
    Re: Grants Available For Your Business
    Looking for grants to make a small rural Scottish hotel greener. Need double glazing and to replace oil boiler with wood…
    3 February 2018
  • ricky
    Re: Grants Available For Your Business
    Are there any grants available for loft insulation to village halls in Scotland?
    2 February 2018
  • ricky
    Re: Grants Available For Your Business
    I am helping with a remote community centre in scotland with no loft insulation are there any grants out there to cover…
    2 February 2018
  • Edie
    Re: Grants Available For Your Business
    @sgreen - I'd ask your landlord. There are few places that don't have central heating these days, especially shops!
    22 January 2018
  • RonN
    Re: Loft Insulation
    @Una - your bungalow should be insulated by the builder to legislated requirements.
    22 January 2018
  • Una
    Re: Loft Insulation
    Please can you tell me can we a government grant to insulate the loft space of our new build bungalow Kind regards Una Bennett
    21 January 2018
  • sgreen
    Re: Grants Available For Your Business
    Hi we rent a shop in croydon, it currently has no central heating and seems to be colder inside than it is out! We are…
    20 January 2018
  • Pannapella
    Re: Grants Available For Your Business
    I want to open a zero waste shop in my local town in Wales and was wondering whether there are any start up grants for…
    20 January 2018
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the EcoFinancing website. Please read our Disclaimer.