Which material can be recycled again and again?

Glass, especially glass containers for food and beverages, can be recycled over and over again. Making new glass from recycled glass is usually cheaper than using raw materials. Aluminum is one of the most valuable recyclable materials because there is no limit to the number of times it can be recycled. The aluminum cans from which you drink soft drinks can be recycled over and over again without degrading.

In fact, it is estimated that more than two-thirds of all the aluminum ever produced is still in use today. Recycling glass is 33% more energy efficient than creating glass with new materials. Like aluminum, glass can be recycled over and over again without degrading, so you should never feel guilty about buying glass items as long as you take the time to recycle them. Be sure to contact your local recycling center to find out what types of glass they process.

There are several different types of glass, and some of them require special processing, so it's important to find out what types your recycling center accepts. Use this helpful guide to determine what materials you should buy. Buying any type of recyclable material is smart. However, if you really want to live a greener lifestyle, buy recyclable materials that can be recycled an unlimited number of times, such as glass, metal and aluminum.

I used to think that plastic water bottles could be recycled infinitely, that every time I threw one in the blue bin, it turned out to be another plastic bottle. Turns out that's not the case. Some materials can be recycled endlessly, but plastic isn't one of them. Metal cans for food and beverages made of aluminum or steel are recyclable and, in particular, aluminum cans are very valuable.

You can even recycle used aluminum foil; just make sure the cans and aluminum foil are clean. It's made up of long fibers, so every time paper is recycled, those fibers get shorter, making it difficult to recycle the next time. If you're interested in knowing how much money you can earn as an ecological warrior, read The Basics of Recycling Scrap for Money. But can that park bench be recycled? Can my “recycled” notebook be recycled again? How many times can this material be recycled? That's why used aluminum cans have a relatively high value, and why recycling them is such a good thing.

But now that I know that metal and glass containers are the best option, I will always choose them first, regardless of access to recycling facilities. There is so much plastic that plastic waste doesn't have much value, so it's not always economical to collect it. If you have a curbside recycling plan, you may be given a recycling box in which you can place certain types of waste (for example, metal cans, glass bottles, plastics, and newspapers), but not others. When markets are booming and people are willing to pay more for scrap metal or used glass, recycling is obviously more profitable than when prices are low.

Bottle banks (large containers where glass waste is collected) were the original examples of community recycling in many countries. Wood waste is often converted into new wood products, such as recycled wood floors or garden covers. Most recycling services accept plastics with codes 1 or 2, which include bottles and beverage containers used for milk, juice and body care products. Most things that are discarded can be recycled and converted into new products, although some are easier to recycle than others.

Now, researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of the United States Department of Energy (DOE) have created a plastic material that is fully recyclable. Almost all paper items are recyclable, although you should check with your local recycling service provider before bringing milk and juice containers. It will always be better not to produce waste in the first place than to recycle it, so reducing the need for things is always the best option. .

Vickie Zaidel
Vickie Zaidel

Freelance music maven. Gamer. Infuriatingly humble pop culture evangelist. Avid travel aficionado. Incurable tv maven. Lifelong internet nerd.