The Netherlands and Europe want to move towards a more circular economy. A tough challenge. The recycling companies have been working on this for a long time and they are developing new initiatives. Although not easy, it leads to positive results, which is partly due to the material value that can be recovered from the amount of material to be recycled. This has been made possible in part by the ever-improving and innovative techniques. The reuse of materials is an indispensable element for this. The essence of the new company philosophy is not to dispose of residual raw materials after use, but to reuse them in manufacturing processes. To give it a new life, as it were.

The circular ambition has now become the common thread in thinking and acting in the recycling sector. The basic idea is to recycle the supplied amount of raw materials as high-quality as possible, to get everything out of it in order to strengthen the sales revenue model. The world around us already largely consists of recycled products and is made possible in part by recycling companies that re-market recovered raw materials. As a result, these companies are making a growing contribution to improving the climate and the recycling targets prescribed by the government for this.

Whether this policy is ultimately correct and feasible remains to be seen. A positive effect is that savings are made on the use of primary raw materials and the amount of residual waste is greatly minimized. Furthermore, the chosen path contributes to opportunities for innovation, a contribution to the knowledge economy and the expansion of employment. This represents a valuable economic boost for the joint recycling companies.

Circular economy and recycling

What is the difference between the economic terms recycling, circular economy and cradle-to-cradle?

We can say that the meaning of recycling is the reuse of materials, but in a different form than the original product. You can think of metals that are reduced, sorted and melted. It depends on the alloy what can be made from it. That is the basis of recycling. We can also talk about upcycling and downcycling. In the first case, the new product is of higher value. In the second case, in the new product of lower value.

The meaning of a circular economy seems to be a whole of processes, in which the raw materials can be reused as much as possible. A process with the condition that the application provides the highest value for our economy and has the least impact on the environment. In a circular economy several processes take place that make this possible, such as reuse, repair and recycling. As we can see, this concerns the whole of activities. A circular product can be disassembled and the individual parts can be reused. It prevents loss of valuable raw materials.

The term cradle to cradle basically means the same thing. The products that can be reused indefinitely or that can be degraded without harm to the environment.  

Judge for yourself, is this a (un)forced marriage……………..