Recycling is the process of turning used materials into new things, whether it’s the same item (paper to paper) or using the materials to make new things without having to use new resources (melting down plastic bottles to plastic thread spools). The idea is to find another use for an item, like using a jelly jar to hold buttons or snaps, instead of throwing it into the trash. Reusing materials reduces our demand for new plastics to be made.

Recycling does require energy but the lifetime of a product can continue longer than if it’s composted.