WE ALL know recycling diverts precious materials like plastic, glass and paper away from landfill so they can be used to make new products.
But, unless we're buying products that have been made from recycled materials and creating a demand for them, we're just creating more waste.
This year Planet Ark's National Recycling Week highlights how you can help close the recycling loop by giving old products another life and by purchasing products that contain recycled materials.
Here are 10 examples -
Products made from recycled paper such as Naturale's 100% recycled toilet tissue and paper towels, Planet Ark's 100% recycled paper, and some greeting cards, are made from waste paper and commonplace in most supermarkets or stationery stores.
Dresden Optics is just one company making prescription glasses and sunglasses from old Lego, milk bottle lids, beer keg caps and even discarded fishing line.
Tins and cans:
Aluminium is the most valuable and in-demand recyclable material. Aluminium and steel cans are routinely melted down and made into new cans and tins for food and drinks.
Pens and rulers:
Used printer cartridges collected through the Cartridges 4 Planet Ark program, are made into pens and rulers, and even made road surfacing materials.
Garden furniture and garden beds:
Plastic bags and other soft plastics can be melted down and poured into moulds to create durable and high quality outdoor flooring, benches and tables. You can also buy eWood raised garden beds which are made from recycled printer cartridges.
Companies like Dunlop Flooring are making carpet underlay from 90% recycled materials, such as foam underlay, off-cuts and trims.
Blankets and wool products:
Wool is a high-quality and durable natural fibre, making it perfect for recycling and reuse. Seljak Brand is one company making wool blankets from the off-cuts from weaving mills.
Even your fur babies can help save the environment by doing their business in litter made from recycled wood and paper.
Wallets, purses, handbags
Our favourite accessories don't have to cost the earth when they are made from recycled nylon, fabric, and rubber from used inner tubes.
Put your best foot forward for the environment in shoes and thongs made from recycled rubber and plastic bottles.
Planet Ark's National Recycling Week is on November 13 to 19, 2017.