Many mainstream materials can and do contain recycled content. Whilst some materials are downgraded into a lower quality material when they are recycled, steel, aluminium and glass can be recycled into high quality material with the same properties as virgin material. Recycled plastics which are processed as high quality waste, by being separated in single material streams and then cleaned prior to recycling can maintain many of the original properties in subsequent uses. Downgraded recycled plastics, from mixed waste streams, can also be effectively and economically specified in the manufacture of hidden components without any loss of quality.
Recycled composites such as Tectan are a potential output of the recycling process - see
Although composites create important markets for recycled materials it is important to recognise that they are often difficult or impossible to recycle themselves.
Updated November 2006, V.A.Lofthouse
For further information on recycled materials and products which use recycled materials visit the following sites:
- UK Recycled Products Guide: http://www.recycledproducts.org.uk/
- RECycling Of Used Plastics Limited (RECOUP), A UK based agency aimed at maximising the effectiveness of plastics recycling - http://www.recoup.org
- Resin Code Information: http://www.plasticsindustry.org/outreach/recycling/2124.htm