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What can be done to limit or reduce the amount of waste created by Society.

Research and Design

We could design products so that their individual parts can be easily disassembled for recycling. At the moment things like drinks cartons are difficult to recycle because the silver foil on the inside has to be detached from the cardboard on the outside. They are classified as composite materials.

Ideally we should design products that are completely recyclable.


We could use organically grown textiles or other products in manufacturing.

We could use only water-based solvents in the fabrication or finishing of products.

Nike uses water-based solvents in at least 85% of their trainer products and introduce 3% organic cotton into their T-shirts.

We could package products in recyclable containers that use no adhesives or heavy metal inks. Instead soy-based inks or dyes and recycled cardboard could be used instead. Recycled card could be used inside the secondary packaging replacing expanded polystyrene which is very difficult and expensive to dispose of.
Manufacturer need to encourage customers to return products to them either for recycling or refilling. Printer tone cartridges could be refilled by the shops that sold them.
Ground up, recycled materials could be used in a variety of products. Nike uses ground up trainers to build the soft flooring around playground rides. IKEA is experimenting with recycling particular types of furniture.