Closed loop recycling
|Closed loop recycling|
Closed-loop recycling "occurs when a product is recycled into a product that can be recycled over and over again, theoretically endlessly". A perfect examples to illustrate this process are aluminum cans, because they can be recycled over and over again into the same things - aluminum cans (Vigon B. W. i in. 1994, s. 91).
From an environmental point of view, the closed-loop recycling process is very much needed, albeit many countries do not have manufacturers, by implying it is logistically and economically not feasible (Khan A., Inamuddin, Asiri A. M. 2020, s. 7).
Advantages of closed-loop recycling
There are plenty of benefits of closed-loop recycling, especially for the environment, several are worth mentioning (Hamada Hiroyuki i in. 1998, s. 7-8):
- materials considered as useless can be reused without cost penalty
- products do not end their usability in the landfills
- for manufacturers - the result of closed-loop recycling is recyclate that is a way easier to formulate into a quality part than an original product.
Examples of processes in closed-loop recycling
There are many examples of products that can be recycled endlessly, however, the closed-loop recycling process includes many stages before the product will be able to use again. For example, for plastic like jugs, the stages are as following (Vigon B. W. i in. 1994, s. 91):
- washing and also
It should be remembered that every product requires different processes to be recycled. To picture that, consider the example of paper products - the only things that must be done before selling are (Vigon B. W. i in. 1994, s. 91):
- deinking or/also bleaching.
It is worth mentioning, that there also occurs a process called open-loop recycling. The main divergence between above and closed-loop recycling system is the fact, that in an open-loop recycling "a product made from virgin material is recycled into another product that is not recycled, but disposed of, possibly after a long-term diversion". A good example illustrating this recycling system is a plastic milk bottle changed into (for instance) flower pots that are not recycled (Vigon B. W. i in. 1994, s. 91).
- Barnes K. A., Sinclair C. R., Watson D. H. (2007), Chemical Migration and Food Contact Materials, Woodhead Publishing Limited, Cambridge, s. 209
- Beukering P. J. H. (2001), Recycling, International Trade and the Environment: An Empirical Analysis, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, s. 32
- Ferguson M. E., Souza G. C. (2010), Closed-Loop Supply Chains: New Developments to Improve the Sustainability of Business Practices, CRC Press, Boca Raton, s.170
- Finkbeiner M. (red.) (2016),Special Types of Life Cycle Assessment, Springer, Dordrecht, s. 253
- Hamada Hiroyuki (red.) (1998),SPI/CI International Conference and Exposition 1998, Composites Institute, New York, s. 2-8
- Khan A., Inamuddin, Asiri A. M. (2020), E-waste Recycling and Management: Present Scenarios and Environmental Issues, Springer, Cham, s. 7
- Schlesinger M. E. (2014), Aluminum Recycling, Second Edition, CRC Press, Boca Raton, s. 29
- Vigon B. W. (red.) (1994), Life-Cycle Assessment: Inventory Guidelines and Principles, CRC Press, Boca Raton, s. 91
Author: Urszula Bochenek