Recently, the EPA released its bi-annual Municipal Solid Waste Report with a new name,“Advancing Sustainable Materials Management”. The EPA’s intent is to promote the practice of sustainable product and waste program design. This report, “emphasizes the importance of reducing the amount of waste created, reusing whenever possible, and then recycling whatever is left.” .1 According to the report, “source reduction is the most preferred materials management approach.”
Source reduction is waste reduction and prevention. Source reduction is filling up a reusable water bottle rather than purchasing a single, serve bottled water or turning yard trimmings into mulch rather than sending them to a landfill. Thinking “source reduction” makes us “sustainability mindful” for the products we design and manufacture, and the goods we purchase and reuse. Ultimately, our ingenuity and practices make it all work.
When it comes to recycling, source reduction considers not only recycled content, but recycling longevity as well.
Did you know that the polyethylene-based (PE) plastics found in most beverage containers can only be recycled 3 or 4 times before the plastic molecules breakdown and the plastics must be landfilled? These “forever buried” plastics leave the recycling world only to be replaced with virgin materials. Doesn’t sound so sustainable does it?
From a recycling standpoint, choosing a material that is forever recyclable keeps it from entering a landfill and lowers the demand for virgin material to be produced. When it comes to beverage containers, the simple, aluminum can is the winner. Not only is the aluminum can recyclable forever, it is normally made out of 100% recycled aluminum. Why do aluminum cans have such a high percentage of recycled content? Because it is far less expensive to recycle aluminum than produce it from scratch; the financial incentive exists to use recycled aluminum whenever possible.
By purchasing goods that are made from or packaged in more sustainable materials, we promote sustainable materials management. Choosing a recycling bin to collect “whatever is left” after source reduction should be no exception.
Recyclingbin.com’s new Hexcycle® Max meets the criteria for sustainable materials design, manufacture, and performance.
The Hexcycle® Max is comprised of chambered, polypropylene plastic with a hinging, aluminum lid. The chambered design results in a bin with 30% less plastic than conventional, molded bins. And, since polypropylene and aluminum are both materials that can be recycled indefinitely, the bin wins for source reduction and recycling longevity! Printed with low VOC inks, the bin’s highly, aesthetic design and easy wipe down aluminum lid scream sophistication. To top off the sustainability, the Hexcycle® Max ships flat in a 100% recycled, corrugated carton.
Put to practice what the EPA is preaching and implement your recycling program with a bin that will never have to go to the landfill.
1 “Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: Facts and Figures 2013″, June 2015, www.epa.gov
© 2015 Recycle Life, LLC
RecyGal® name and the RecyGal® character are registered trademarks and registered copyrights of Recycle Life , LLC. All rights reserved