27 October 2011

Recycling means you failed

Recently I heard someone talking about interesting implications of recycling. One of the most common strategies people think of for sustainable products is to make them recyclable. Well, recycling in fact means that the product became obsolete and couldn't keep working as what it was. Recycling means adding additional energy, materials, processes, etc., to turn it into something else. Recycling means giving away all the hard work that was put into the initial life of a product... Recycling means failure.

Are there instances where recycling is actually good and necessary? Of course! but if they are extremely rare. Most disposable products actually come from a disposable, consumerist mentality. They come from cultures that think they have unlimited resources and therefore can afford single-use or short-lifespan products.

The most sustainable products are the ones that keep working as what they are... the ones that last and wear-in. The ones we love because they got passed to us from previous generations and that we look forward to pass on to someone else.

1 comment:

  1. good point, its strange how we normally forget this and everything becomes recycling. maybe "recycling" is just "consumerism" in another form