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Differences between recycling and reuse

Very often we hear the terms recycling and reuse used indifferently, when in fact there are big differences between them.

It is important to recognise the different concepts and to know the difference between them, so this time we will tell you what each of them consists of.

What is recycling?

The concept of recycling implies that the initial material or waste goes through a process or treatment that will turn it into new raw material. In other words, this waste will be treated in one way or another to convert it into material suitable for creating a new product.

Thus, in the case of ferrous metals and non-ferrous metals, they go from storage plants or scrap yards to recyclers, where they recover the metal, and then, once recovered, it goes to a smelter, to be converted back into metal that can be used to manufacture new products.

In this way, the advantage of scrap metal recycling is that it saves resources and energy, as well as reducing CO2 emissions. In the same way, all the raw materials that we give a chance to be recycled avoid the extraction of raw materials from nature.

ScrapAd promotes the circular economy we are looking for by facilitating and simplifying the sale and purchase of recyclable metals between companies, giving all metal waste a second chance. 

What is reuse?

Reuse, as we can read in the word itself, means to reuse that object or material, either for the purpose for which it was conceived or for a new one, extending the useful life of that material. Saving energy and material resources and reducing waste are the main advantages of reuse.

Recycle vs reuse

The main difference between recycling and reuse is that, in the case of reuse, no recovery or transformation process is carried out on the material. Therefore, in the case of reuse, no resources are needed to repurpose the material, making it the more advantageous option.

However, this is hardly ever possible. Waste needs a transformation process before it can be used again, either because it has been affected by the passage of time or because we need to renew it.

So which is better, recycling or reuse? In this case, both processes have the same purpose: to reduce the negative impact of human activity on our environment, as we know that resources are finite and waste has a negative impact on the environment.

Both options are equally valid and are applied depending on the need at the time.

The importance of recycling and reusing

Knowing the difference between recycling and reusing helps us to become aware of the urgency of putting an end to a linear model of production and consumption. This economic model does not consider the environmental damage of industrial activities or the intensive generation of waste and residues.

However, a circular economy model considers recycling and reuse as ways to maintain the sustainability of natural resources.

We hope that this post has helped you to solve your doubts and to know the differences between recycling and reuse.

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