Sustainable Living: 3M FuturewiseTown PlanIntroductionGo BackGo Next: Recycle glass, paper and plastic3M

Recycling bank

What is recycling?

Recycling means collecting waste materials (rubbish) to reuse or reprocess to make new products. This saves the need to manufacture products using fresh, raw materials collected or mined from the earth.

Some materials such as glass and aluminium can be recycled to make new products of the same quality. These materials are 100% recyclable.

Some materials degrade in quality when they are recycled. For example, the wood fibres in paper get shorter each time the paper is pulped and recycled. Paper can therefore only be recycled into poorer quality paper or cardboard, unless new fresh wood pulp is added to increase the strength of the paper. Recycled plastics are often processed to create a different form of plastic so they change their use after recycling.

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