Sostenibilidad Sustainability

What is recycling? The importance of recycle, reduce and reuse

In a world increasingly aware of the importance of taking care of the environment and preserving our planet, the concept of recycling has become a key element in the fight against pollution and the depletion of our natural resources.

This concern is transferred to the purchasing decisions of consumers who, step by step, are prioritising the purchase of products from companies involved in environment care and who reflect this – among other criteria – in the quality of recycling processes and in the recyclability of packaging.

But, do we really know what is recycling, or what is its real importance for our environment and business? In this post, we will try to go deeper into the concept of recycling, its different types and benefits, as well as explaining its relationship with the philosophy of Kaeltia, a company committed to the circular economy and the reuse of materials.

What is recycling?

In a simple definition, we could say that recycling is a process by which materials that are no longer useful in their original form are collected, processed and transformed into new products or materials. Today, this practice has become an essential process to reduce the accumulation of waste in landfills, and to minimise the environmental impact of production and consumption.

The importance of recycling also lies in its ability to help conserve natural resources, reduce pollution and thus combat climate change. By recycling, it is possible to obtain recycled materials that can be used to make new products, which in turn reduces the demand for raw materials such as wood, minerals, or oil.

There are several types of recycling, depending on the material to be reused, such as paper, glass, plastic and metal recycling, among others: each with its own specific benefits and processes. Recycling not only protects valuable resources, but also reduces greenhouse gas emissions and promotes a more circular economy.

However, it should be noted that, despite the importance of recycling, the priority of the measures adopted for environmental care should be aimed at preventing the production of packaging waste, promoting its reuse and, ultimately, its recycling. That is why at Kaeltia we work on eco-design solutions for companies, considering – among other fundamental principles – the use of cleaner production processes, as well as the reduction of natural resources not only in the design of more environmentally friendly packaging, but also prioritising reusable solutions that are fully integrated within circular economy.

In this sense, at Kaeltia we always make clear our firm commitment to sustainability through the reuse of materials. For example, with the transformation of waste – such as that generated by incineration in a funeral parlour – into a source of energy to power a company’s facilities. Another way to contribute to reducing the environmental footprint can also include rescuing textile fibres from used clothing, and giving them a second life by converting them into new garments. It is also possible to promote the reuse of product packaging, giving them an additional purpose once the original product has been consumed. In addition, glass packaging can be reused instead of being sent to the recycling process, boosting resource conservation and waste minimisation.

Why is recycling so important?

As important as to understand what recycling is, it is to know why recycling is so important. Generally speaking, recycling is important because it helps to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, and to save natural resources. In addition, it is essential to understand that we should preferably focus on reuse before resorting to recycling. Re-use means giving objects and materials a second life, which avoids the need to produce new resources and further reduces waste generation. From a business point of view, it is essential to bear in mind that waste prevention, waste reduction, reuse and recycling have become the focus of development of multiple regulations, and it also determines the focus of research and innovations in order to achieve a business model based on circular economy.

It’s such its relevance, that the correct management of waste – as well as its recycling, or materials recovery – is one of the integral points of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, an action plan signed by the Government of Spain in favour of people, the planet and prosperity. In line with the Sustainable Development 17 Goals and 169 targets (SDGs), this plan aligns several measures and regulations for their achievement, such as the Royal Decree 1055/2022 on packaging and packaging waste. However, there is a different perspective that goes beyond recycling, and that Kaeltia embraces with enthusiasm: reusing.

The importance of recycling and reusing

Those who know what recycling is, are well aware of how necessary reuse is. This process, in which a second life is given to a product or material without the need to transform it significantly, is the cornerstone of the circular economy. At Kaeltia we support and promote this philosophy. Instead of recycling product packaging, why not reusing it? This would reduce the need to produce new packaging and, therefore, reduce the pollution related to its manufacture and recycling.

Circular economy: beyond recycling

At Kaeltia, we believe that we can help companies to go a step further in the concept of recycling, towards what we know as “circular economy“. Circular economy focuses on the idea that, instead of recycling as the first premise, we should seek to reuse materials in the first place. Why? Because reusing does not involve the transformation of materials, which often has a significant ecological footprint; when we recycle, it often requires an intensive process to turn materials into something new, which can lead to more pollution.

We know what recycling is, and we are in favour of it, but we believe it should be the last option when there are no viable alternatives for reusing. Therefore, at Kaeltia, we are committed to reuse materials in their current state, or with minimal transformation.

Our philosophy is based on the concept of circular economy, where we take advantage of all waste and incorporate it into other processes, either within the same company or in collaboration with others, without excessive transformation. In this way, we reduce pollution to a minimum and contribute to the care of our planet.

In summary, we believe that the integration of eco-design within the usual company management system is the path towards a more environmentally friendly future, where reusing materials is the first option without neglecting the many possibilities of recycling, as well as compliance with its regulations. It is never too late to review your business processes and commit to a greener future. Together, we can make a difference and work towards a cleaner and healthier world.