The wide world of recycling

The wide world of recycling

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Brazil reaches a milestone in aluminum can recovery, a European official hints at new recycling targets and recycling has become a way of life in a besieged part of Palestine.

Two trade associations representing Brazil's aluminum can recycling industry have announced that the country has achieved the highest recycling rate for the beverage containers ever. According to the associations, 248,700 tons of aluminum beverage cans were recycled out of the 253,100 tons available on the Brazilian market in 2011, making for a recycling rate of 98.3 percent. The two associations say this rate is the highest in history.

In 2012, Brazil has increased its aluminum can production capacity by 9.5 percent from 21 billion to 23 billion units per year in anticipation of a 7 percent growth in consumption, according to the associations.

Janez Poto─Źnik, European commissioner for environment, suggested in a in a speech at the European Resource Efficiency Forum in Berlin that higher resource-efficiency targets could be enacted in the future.

Poto─Źnik noted that estimates show that reducing material requirements of the economy by 17 percent could boost gross domestic product by more than 3 percent in the European Union, while also boosting employment by 2.5 million.

He also stated that 10 EU member states are still landfilling more than 70 percent of their municipal waste and he would be keeping this in mind as the EU reviews existing targets in waste legislation in coming years.

In Gaza, a Palestinian territory that the Israeli government has kept under a tight blockade, recycling has become a way of life because it is a necessity, according to a report on

"Recycling has become one of the most important fields of business in the Gaza strip," reads the article. "The strip benefits from it economically because of the elevated and mounting unemployment in the area; and prominently because it requires a relatively small start-up capital."

According to the article, when the Hamas movement took over Gaza in 2007, Israel responded with a siege and a blockade on the region, creating shortages of raw materials. In response, businesses relying on recycled material have sprung up.

Some women make craft art from discarded materials. Businesses refurbish and recycle scraps of metal and machinery. Housing is often built from recycled materials because items smuggled into the strip are often exorbitantly priced. Stone-crushing factories take rubble from bombed buildings and crush it into new bricks, allowing construction of buildings to proceed.

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