Crafty Recyclables not so Recyclable?
May 9, 2010 2:52 PM Subscribe
What is the long-term impact of reusable art/craft projects (e.g. school "environmental" arts projects or Etsy-esque recycled jewelry & knickknacks)? Do they really help the environment or do they just delay the impact?
posted by divabat to science & nature (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When I was a kid, the big environmental thing to do was to reuse scraps of paper, foil, plastic, etc and create random pieces of art, or something functional (like decorations for parties or a pencil case holder). The idea was that instead of sending these materials to landfills, we would reuse and recycle them, thereby helping the environment. But wouldn't this just make it harder for the original material to degrade when it does eventually meet a landfill?
The stuff we made wasn't going to be very usable for long and would likely make its way to a bin soon. But since it's all stuck together, you couldn't separate all the different parts of it to fit different recycling bins. The paint and glue may also affect its recyclable quality.
Is it better to just recycle the source material or does recycling have its own issues? Has anyone done a study about this?