What is Closed-Loop Recycling? The Answer May Surprise You!
Closed-loop recycling is the process of reusing materials after they have been recycled. This process preserves the properties of the materials. This is the most sustainable form of recycling because it reduces the number of waste materials in landfills. It also conserves natural resources, such as fossil fuels. The benefits of closed-loop recycling are numerous and varied, with the main ones being:
- reduction of pollution
- preserves natural resources
- minimises risk to wildlife
- reduces build up in landfills.
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Closed-Loop Recycling: What is it?
Closed-loop recycling is especially beneficial when it comes to materials that are difficult to replace. Open-loop recycling is also a beneficial process for companies. It helps build brand recognition and improve bottom lines. According to a recent Nielsen survey, 66% of consumers would be willing to pay more for a company that uses recycled materials. However, this type of recycling is only a good option for some companies.
Closed-loop recycling is not possible with some materials. This is because the recycled content is not the same as the original product. In the long run, recycled materials are converted into new raw materials.
- processes various types of products of similar material makeup
- Focuses on supply chain sustainability.
- Changes the properties of the original material (chemically, through heat etc.)
- Created so that all of the materials of manufactured goods can be recycled, generally for use in the same type of product.
- Open-loop recycling may be referred to as downcycling or reprocessing.
- Common in specialised industries
- Focuses on refurbishment (i.e. computers)
Closed-Loop Recycling Costs
Closed-loop recycling is a natural cycle where organic materials decompose to form matter rich in nutrients and beneficial bacteria. This material can then be used to grow new plants. The process may be unique for each fruit or vegetable, but the overarching cycle is repeated. For example, if a commercial company recycles 1.2 kilograms of glass daily, that waste will only require one trash pick-up. This decreases the overall cost of trash collection, bailing, and transportation. When thinking about closed-loop recycling costs, you should focus on the savings your company could potentially make by not needing extra waste collections if you focus on re-using sustainable closed-loop materials.
Additionally, a commercial recycling program can save tipping fees at landfills. Closed-loop recycling is also better for the environment. It helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution. It also improves profitability in the coatings industry. By reusing and recycling plastics, manufacturers can reduce their packaging costs.
Closed-loop recycling is an excellent way to recycle waste and prevent it from being dumped in landfills. Not only does it reduce the production of waste, but it also helps to conserve the planet’s natural resources by preventing the need for virgin materials. Recycled glass, for example, takes up to 30% less energy to create than virgin glass, while recycled aluminium cans require ninety per cent less energy.
Closed-loop recycling involves the collection of used goods and reprocessing them without sacrificing their integrity. Recycled goods are remade into new products in the same manner, thus reducing waste that otherwise would go to landfills. This process is especially effective for recyclable materials such as glass and aluminium, although not all materials can be recycled in this way.
The closed-loop recycling process focuses on the sustainability of natural resources and materials. It reuses the same materials indefinitely and reduces the need for virgin materials. The primary material that can be recycled in a closed loop is aluminium cans. This material can be reused more than three times without causing any degradation of the original material.
Before implementing the closed-loop recycling process, the entity can assess its waste-recovery needs and determine what type of articles it would like to recycle. Upon determining the type of articles, it is possible to determine where to collect the waste. The process may include collecting waste from different locations and processing it according to the entity’s needs.
Closed-Loop Recycling Benefits
The closed-loop recycling process is environmentally sound and produces high-value and performance composite materials. In addition to being environmentally friendly, it is also cost-effective. In the case of carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites, the closed-loop recycling method was demonstrated to preserve mechanical properties across two recycling cycles.
The quality of the carbon fibres was not reduced, and the thermoplastic matrix had higher performance. The final mechanical properties of the composites were suitable for semi-structural automotive applications.
Closed-Loop Recycling – Learn more about UK business waste statistics here
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