Favourable review of impacts of recycling processes

The environmental impacts of most recycling processes are smaller than those caused by manufacturing plastics, glass, metals, paper and textiles from virgin materials, according to a report by Warren Spring Laboratory (WSL).1

The report is a useful contribution to the debate about the relative environmental impacts of recycling versus production from virgin sources of the principal materials found in the domestic waste stream. Its main value is in pulling together data from the literature on the energy and raw material consumption, releases to air and water, and solid waste generation associated with these two production routes.

Although the results are genera

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