We use cookies to ensure that our site works correctly and provides you with the best experience. If you continue using our site without changing your browser settings, we'll assume that you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use and how to manage them by reading our cookies policy. Hide

Current Issue

9th October 2019
Selected Chemistry & Industry magazine issue

Select an Issue

C&I

C&I e-books

C&I e-books

C&I apps

iOS App
Android App

Closing the loop

Posted 23/01/2013 by sevans

Recycling rates across Europe and much of the developed world may be on the rise, but it would appear that we are still not doing enough to ‘make do and mend’ or re-use the majority of the materials that we routinely consume and throw away. A report for the UK parliament this month estimates that UK industry and business could be rejecting valuable raw materials worth £700m by failing to capitalise on the potential of recycled materials. And even as supplies of precious metals and other valuable commodities decline, we continue to use and discard them regardless of the fact that inevitably there will come a time when they will run out.

‘Although recycling rates across Europe have quadrupled in England over the past decade, we are a long way from achieving a zero-waste economy and a change of mindset is called for,’ according to Andrew Furlong, director of policy at the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), one of the contributors to the report Maximising the value of recycled materials, which calls for a switch to a so-called ‘closed loop economy’ in which non-biological materials such as metals are never discarded and biological materials are routinely recovered and used again. 

An alternative solution, of course, is that we should all stop buying so much, or alternatively stop throwing so much of it away. But world economies, according to the same economists who failed to prevent us from the current economic crisis, depend on growth, without which they predict that we are all doomed to even greater financial turmoil.

One wonders what our ancestors might have made of all of this. It is not just the amount of waste that we generate that’s changed, after all, but also what we buy. ‘Things aren’t built like they used to be’ precisely because we often no longer need – or want – them to last. But if consumerism is not going to go away, it is clear that we will all need to find a way to close the loop somehow.

Cath O’Driscoll – Deputy editor

Add your comment

 
 

 

Comments

  • Anonymous said:
    15/11/2013 06:49

    Excellent post. I used to be checking <a href="http://wpetstlkq.com">cottsannly</a> this weblog and I am impressed!Extremely useful info specifically the final part :) I handle such info a lot.I was looking for this particular info for a very lengthy time. Thanks and best of luck.my web site ::

  • Anonymous said:
    14/11/2013 03:35

    Who are these dumb people who are anewirsng that she could be hanged or burned or whatever? That's absurd. That was never true in England at any time.The first thing you need to know is that she couldn't leave her husband at all if he didn't want her to go he had the right to keep her locked up in his house if he wanted to. Only if she could bring and prove serious legal charges against him, e.g. that he had hit her hard enough to maim her permanently (not just beating her, which he had a lawful right to do), could she obtain a legal separation from him. If she did get such a separation, or if he wasn't bothered enough to stop her leaving, she would have to leave behind any children she had, with no right to see them again, and all her money. And she would be excluded from all respectable society, although she might manage to have a reasonable life in non-respectable society, e.g. as a actress, singer or courtesan.Alternatively, if her husband had found out about the affair he could take sue her lover (sleeping with somebody else's wife was a legal wrong known as criminal conversation ) . If he won this case he could then proceed to divorce his wife. In the 18th century you could only get a divorce by Act of Parliament it was a slow and very expensive procedure, only available to the rich. A man could get a divorce on the grounds of his wife's adultery; for a woman that wasn't enough and she had to prove her husband's adultery plus serious cruelty. http://vrwnsntol.com [url=http://vbdkrdy.com]vbdkrdy[/url] [link=http://vvwewqsylg.com]vvwewqsylg[/link]

  • Anonymous said:
    12/11/2013 03:17

    89,00 Euros..?! nutts. Birgit you r right.I'm sure quite soon the book will be available on <a href="http://vcfsub.com">gogole</a> or somehwere.even it is the best book in the world, it is way to much for a printed book. at leaset there was some interactive option with it or something (is there?)

  • Anonymous said:
    03/11/2013 11:35

    Hi there I am so grateful I found your blog, I<a href="http://zhthxvc.com"> rellay</a> found youby accident, while I was searching on Bing for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just liketo say thank you for a marvelous post and a all round interesting blog (I also lovethe theme/design), I don92t have time to read through it all at the minute but I have saved it and also added in yourRSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to reada great deal more, Please do keep up the awesomeb.

  • Anonymous said:
    17/10/2013 04:17

    I've been browsing onnlie greater than 3 hours nowadays, but I never discovered any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will likely be much more helpful than ever before. http://ilgxjxbupbq.com [url=http://hkgycmgnc.com]hkgycmgnc[/url] [link=http://ncggudylbk.com]ncggudylbk[/link]

  • Anonymous said:
    15/10/2013 07:34

    I have noticed that ieenlligntt real estate agents almost everywhere are warming up to FSBO Advertising and marketing. They are recognizing that it's not just placing a poster in the front area. It's really in relation to building human relationships with these vendors who later will become consumers. So, when you give your time and energy to aiding these retailers go it alone : the Law connected with Reciprocity kicks in. Thanks for your blog post.

Captcha

Archive