What Are Post-Consumer Recycled Materials?

by | May 12, 2024 | Glossary and FAQs

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As scientists learn more about the environmental impact of our lifestyles, including how the products we use daily are manufactured and discarded, businesses and governments worldwide are enacting new policies to reduce their carbon footprints and other negative aspects of producing and manufacturing goods. Post-consumer recycled materials, or PCR materials, are widely used and are growing strategies for fighting climate change. Here, we will examine PCR materials and how they might be used.

What is “Post-Consumer Recycling”?

Let us ponder about plastics. Post-consumer plastics refer to collecting, cleaning, and repurposing discarded plastic objects at processing facilities capable of converting used plastic into new, recycled plastics.

Using post-consumer plastics to make new items reduces plastic waste, and the manufacturing process is also more environmentally friendly because it does not rely on fossil fuels as raw materials.

This is the foundation of cyclic business models and fashion. A similar example for trims is the utilization of materials derived from consumer clothing that are transported to collection centres, which are then sorted and reprocessed into new yarns and textiles.

According to the European Commission, “under the umbrella of PCR material, we can use most plastic waste presently being collected by the EU Member States EPR schemes and sent to recyclers.

What is "Post-Consumer Recycling"?

What Exactly are the Post-Consumer Recycled Materials?

Simply put, post-consumer recycled materials are created from everyday materials like paper, aluminum, and plastic that customers have already used and recycled. Recycled materials are gathered, sorted, and broken into little bits. These parts are then used in several applications throughout the manufacturing and development of new items. PCR materials differ from other eco-friendly materials, such as compostable and recyclable packaging, which can be reused in many contexts. Post-consumer recycled materials are typically non-recyclable because they are manufactured from recycled materials.

What are the Advantages of PCR Materials?

PCR materials generally limit the quantity of items generated from new materials in circulation, resulting in less consumer waste. PCR materials produce numerous items, particularly packaging, significantly minimizing a company’s waste and total carbon footprint. PCR materials are also highly consumer-friendly, as they contribute to the fight against climate change without requiring any effort from consumers. This means you may buy things created with post-consumer recycled materials without feeling guilty, knowing you’re contributing to the solution rather than the problem.

Many electronic goods and the materials used to produce and package them can contain PCR materials. For example, plastics derived from post-consumer recycled materials could be used in consumer electronics ranging from routers and computers to wearable smart gadgets and Bluetooth headphones. PC components can also use PCR materials. The MasterLiquid Atmos AIO liquid cooler has a pump top cover made entirely of post-consumer recycled materials.

The GX III Gold Eco Edition PSU, on the other hand, has various components made from PCR polymers. The PSU’s case is made of 12% recycled iron, 50% recycled plastics fan, and 80% recycled aluminum heat sinks.

In conclusion, products developed and generated utilizing post-consumer recycled materials benefit everyone. They facilitate a sustainable lifestyle for customers and enable businesses to lower their carbon footprints. Use PCR materials in products as part of an overall sustainability strategy for a greener future.

Also Read: Microplastic And Their Impact

 

Author

  • Dr. Elizabeth Green

    With over two decades of experience in sustainability, Dr. Elizabeth Green has established herself as a leading voice in the field. Hailing from the USA, her career spans a remarkable journey of environmental advocacy, policy development, and educational initiatives focused on sustainable practices. Dr. Green is actively involved in several global sustainability initiatives and continues to inspire through her writing, speaking engagements, and mentorship programs.

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