RECYCLING AND SOLUTIONS

Museu do Amanhã

The reuse of elements considered "useless" in the post-consumption phase has never been so necessary. The red alert has sounded in societies guided by the culture of disposal. A change of habits and processes becomes necessary to save natural resources and preserve our planet. Despite the difficulties, the recycling industry moves millions worldwide and retrieves all kind of materials: plastics, animal remains, glass, aluminum ...

NOTHING IS LOST, EVERYTHING IS TRANSFORMED...
There is no global formula for recycling. The economic and environmental feasibility of reusing raw materials depends on several factors. Aluminum, having high market value, is one of the raw materials most demanded by the recycling industry. Brazil remains the world leader in the recycling of this material, in large part because of poverty. For every kilogram of recycled aluminum, five kilograms of bauxite are spared. Above, young people separating aluminum cans in Micronesia, Oceania.

Collecting garbage in open dumps is still an environmental scourge. In the photo: a boy looking for recyclables in a garbage dump in the Philippines (photo: Kate Davison / Greenpeace).

Plastics to be recycled in a recyclable material collection center in London (photo: Amanda Gazidis / Greenpeace).

Children learn about recycling at school in Hamburg, Germany. The country pioneered reverse packaging logistics: the return of the materials in the post-consumption phase to the beginning of the production chain (photo: Boris Rostami / Greenpeace).

Electronics collected for a recycling event in Virginia, United States (photo: Tim Aubry / Greenpeace).

Composting - transforming food waste into a kind of fertilizer - is an alternative to waste. In Santa Catarina, a woman is preparing a composter (photo: Peter Caton / Greenpeace).

According to the UN, the electronics industry generates up to 41 million tons of electronic waste each year, from goods including computers and cell phones. In the image, a sorting center in Slovakia (photo: Juraj Rizman / Greenpeace).

Glass cullet before recycling. Brazil produces on average 980,000 tons of glass packaging material a year (Photo: Disclosure / Abividro)

CIRCULAR ECONOMY
Certain less usual materials can also be reused. The Chaco-Vaco company of Duque de Caxias in the Metropolitan Region of Rio, receives 5,000 tons of scrap wood a month. The material goes to industrial boilers, which have abandoned the unsustainable burning of oil and natural gas. The challenge is still huge because the industry cannot count on a structured biomass reuse market in Brazil yet. In Europe, this market is more structured. Germany's economy gets 29% of the electricity it consumes from renewable sources: solar, water, wind as well as wood and biomass.

Chaco-Vaco maintains 250 collection points, where it collects wood waste from businesses ranging from large plants to small furniture factories (Photo: Gustavo Otero).

Wood shavings are processed: the material has high calorific potential, but often ends up buried in landfills (Photo: Gustavo Otero).

Minimizing the use of natural resources, saving energy and raw materials and generation of employment are some of the benefits of wood recycling (Photo: Gustavo Otero).

Ashes from the process of burning wood in industrial recycling furnaces (photo: Gustavo Otero).

Cattle bones and animal fat are delivered to a recycling plant in Nova Iguaçu, in the Baixada Fluminense (Photo: Gustavo Otero).

The material is crushed... (Photo: Gustavo Otero)

... to be transformed into soap (photo: Gustavo Otero).

An employee is filling a container with soap. Remains of flesh and bones end up in a nobler place than a garbage dump (Photo: Gustavo Otero).

Credits: Story

Museu do Amanhã 2016
Curator: Luiz Alberto Oliveira
Content Director: Alfredo Tolmasquim
Exhibition manager and Tomorrow Observatory: Leonardo Menezes
Editor: Emanuel Alencar
Content writer: Eduardo Carvalho
Trainee: Thais Cerqueira

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions (listed below) who have supplied the content.
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