How recycling works

From 16 June to 22 June, Recycle Week will be held in the UK. Managed by Recycle Now and economy and resource efficiency experts WRAP, the week is supported and funded by Her Majesty’s Government and has been active since 2004. This year the focus is on ‘recycling at home and away’ but what actually happens when you pop your used goods in the green bin? Find out here:

The idea of recycling is to re-use goods that have already been discarded for waste. Many materials can be recycled with the most common being paper, plastics, glass, textiles and some types of metal.

When the waste reaches the recycling centre, they are sorted into separate sections depending on what material they are. This is done by a series of machines that use computing systems to correctly sort and label the waste. Mechanisms are also used to downsize and wash the material if needed.

The items are then broken down and sorted into new products through a process called pelletising. Paper for instance, is shredded and mixed with water to make a new base material while plastic and metal are melted down and reformed into new shapes and products. By breaking down materials down into their raw form, they can be moulded again and again into new items.

Recycling, recycle week

As well as being environmentally friendly, recycling can be cost efficient by allowing companies to use the saved materials in other areas of industry.

Recycling will continue to play an integral part in the manufacturing world and its effect on reducing waste is integral to the human race and the future of the planet.