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Firms Lead the Way in Recycling Innovation

Firms Lead the Way in Recycling Innovation

Firms Lead the Way in Recycling Innovation

Recycling is not just about glass, paper, plastics, and cardboard. What about everything else we use, especially things that are made from several different materials? This is where recycling becomes more difficult. But companies in the US are harnessing new technologies to come up with sustainable solutions. From the clothes people throw away to computers, something new can be made, and hopefully this means the end of overreliance on landfill and the tide of plastics that are finding their way into our oceans.

Old clothes, new benefits

‘Fast fashion’ refers to cheap clothes that are made in factories in developing countries and they contribute to a huge amount of waste. The best thing to do with unwanted clothes is to strip them down to their fibres and make them into something new. This is what the non-profit re:loom has done in Atlanta. The company makes products like rugs and bags from old materials, and it employs local homeless and at-risk women to improve their prospects.

Saving paper

We all waste a terrible amount of paper, whether it’s needlessly printing things out at the office or throwing away piles of junk mail in the bin. White paper can easily be recycled, but coloured paper is not so easy to process. The team of designers at The Misprint Co in New Zealand transform used paper into bespoke notebooks and pads, as long as the paper is blank on one side and doesn’t contain any personal data.

Breathing new life into old technology

Electronic items like computers and smartphones can be difficult to recycle. They’re made up of many different materials, some of which are considered hazardous. There is a definite need to break these products down safely and sustainably and make something new from the materials.

Apple have developed a ‘recycling robot’ called Daisy which can take apart 200 iPhones every hour so the materials can be reused.

The sustainable design company Pentatonic makes their furniture from 100% recycled materials, and they recently developed a line of furniture that was made using technology waste. The line included tables made from CDs and DVDs, and glassware made from smartphone glass.

The computer company Dell are also taking part in large scale recycling programmes aimed at keeping plastic out of our oceans.

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