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How can I buy recycled products?
The first and foremost reason to buy recycled products is because recycling helps conserve natural resources. Every ton of steel cans recycled saves 1.36 tons of iron ore and 3.6 barrels of oil. And recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 100 watt bulb for four hours.
Another reason to buy recycled goods is because the manufacturing process creates less air and water pollution than making goods from virgin materials. For example, making paper from recycled materials instead of wood pulp reduces air pollution by 75 percent.
Look for products with a high percentage of post-consumer waste content. Your decision to buy such products is a signal to the manufacturer that a market exists for recycled and recyclable products. If a product you like doesn't come in a recyclable container, call or write the company. Chances are, their customer service representative will be happy to hear from you. And because recycled products use less energy and resources, they can be cheaper in the long run, but only if enough of us request them and buy them to make it economical for the manufacturer to produce them in the first place.
Along with seeking out recycled items, make an equal effort to avoid disposable or non-recycled products. Materials that are difficult to recycle vary from community to community, but may include aseptic drink boxes, Styrofoam, blister packs and multi-layered packaging.