What is Neo-Recycling?

What is Neo-Recycling?

by Prof. Dr. Anabel Ternès - Social entrepreneur, author, speaker and managing director

On a usual Monday morning I was out grocery shopping and went around the store to look for the recycled toilet paper and the recycled waste bin plastic bags. It was the usual routine and felt a little gloomy compared to when I first started with the recycled-products. Was it really the end of recycling for me or was there just something missing?

The idea of recycling, nowadays, is mostly seen as grey, dull and sometimes overly expensive. The second hand clothes and brown-grey recycled paper seem to have become unattractive, as they don’t give the users much individual meaning anymore. The motivation to recycle has become stale for many of us. 

There must be something that continues the original idea on another level. I simply had to ask around in the recycling community, as I did not want to give up on recycling.

Turns out, there is!

Neo-recycling is the new and improved idea of recycling. More and more people are looking for something creative, sometimes even artistic and with a certain trend factor. A good example for this is the “Glove Love” Campaign, where lost single sided gloves are collected, washed and paired with similar lost gloves and then sold as a new cute and hip pairs at a fair price. The products that result from this new idea become more individualistic and expressive.

Many neo-recycled items are actually for free. Ebay has been doing this for a while: people can put unwanted items online at no cost, because they see value in these things and hope that others may do too. The main focus is on sharing the value of the product or item, but also remembering the basic concept of sustainability.

In the following weeks I integrated the idea of neo-recycling into my lifestyle. I realized that a sustainable lifestyle means much more than just shopping eco certified products and carrying them home in brown paper bags. So keep evolving your own green lifestyle, whatever this may mean for you.



published: 10/11/2016

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