Fair Resource Foundation is committed to the highest rungs of the waste hierarchy (reduce, refuse, reuse). Yet high-quality recycling remains crucial to closing the loop. Products put into circulation should be reprocessed as far as possible into a high-quality raw material at the end of their life cycle. In some sectors this is already happening on a large scale – packaging – while others such as textiles are still in their infancy.

Closing the loop

While we emphasize prevention, reducing consumption and reuse as the most desirable waste management options, we also realize that recycling is an important strategy to achieve sustainability. High-quality recycling, in which products or materials are at least of equivalent quality to the original material, reduces the demand for new raw materials and minimizes the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Through this method, materials such as paper, glass, plastic and textiles can be reused, reducing CO2 emissions and energy consumption.

Unfortunately, this still happens too infrequently. Too many recycled materials are applied in low-quality ways – such as using recycled PET for textile products – or even still enter the environment through various means – such as spreading rubber granules on artificial turf fields.

With our work, we are committed to closing the loop. By this we mean that waste is recycled at a high quality so that the secondary material is of such a quality that it can be used again for the same product. Consider the recycling of a PET bottle that allows the RPET (recycled PET) to be applied back into new bottles.

This is not easy for all materials. For example, closing the loop for textiles is still a big challenge. Therefore, it is important to focus on tools that can improve high-quality recycling, such as proper deposit systems that improve the quality of collected material, or improving product design so that it can be properly processed at the end of the life cycle.

Chemical versus mechanical recycling

Essentially, mechanical recycling is about reusing materials without changing their chemical composition, while chemical recycling is about breaking down materials into their chemical components to produce new products.

We look critically at recycling developments. Hopes are pinned on chemical recycling because it offers a solution for recycling materials that are difficult to recycle by mechanical methods, such as contaminated plastic or synthetic textiles. But in general, mechanical recycling is more environmentally friendly because it requires less energy, it generates less waste and emissions, and the quality of the material is preserved.

Fair Resource Foundation will always be committed to the most environmentally friendly method of waste disposal and therefore advocates mechanical recycling over chemical recycling.

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About Recycling


Deposit on plastic bottles excellent news for the environment

This entails a huge expansion of the current deposit return system in the Netherlands. “After decades of resistance by industry, this government’s decision is excellent news in the fight against plastic pollution”, director Rob Buurman of environmental NGO Recycling Netwerk Benelux reacts. Currently, only plastic bottles larger than 1 liter have a deposit in the Netherlands. On the 1st of July 2021, small bottles under 1 liter will come with

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