Circular Economy: The Importance of Plastic Recycling

Circular economy diagram

Plastic is a material with a long and useful life. If used and disposed of responsibly, most plastic products can be reformed into new products once they are finished with. The idea that, rather than be disposable, items should have a second life has been captured in the modern notion of the circular economy. Plastic is a substance that can be its own resource – you can’t get much more circular than that.

The Circular Economy

In the linear economy, products are made, used and then disposed of. The circular economy aims to keep resources in use for the maximum time. It achieves this by replacing disposal with re-use, repair or recycling – enabling a product to lengthen its life or for the materials of which it is comprised to become a resource for new products.   

Millennial Principles

The generation of so-called ‘Millennials’ – roughly, those who were alive, but not adults at the turn of the Millennium – are supposed to be a generation who are more concerned about the fate of the planet than the preceding generations. The affluent Baby Boomers and the cynical Generation X drink their coffee from disposable Styrofoam cups that are then tossed in the trash, but the responsible Millennials are concerned about the future of the planet: they separate their recycling and preach to their children about the benefits of the circular economy. Or so the stereotype would have us believe.

Ikea’s Investment

Earlier this year, Ikea, the Swedish flatpack furniture innovator, made a commitment to reducing their reliance on virgin raw materials. To this end, they purchased a stake in a Dutch plastic recycling plant that is capable of producing 220,000 tonnes of recycled plastic pellets suitable for being made into components for Ikea furniture. Is  

At Coda Plastics, we were engaged with the circular economy long before the term entered the popular lexicon. We recycled our own waste plastics and we began to take in waste plastics from our colleagues in the industry. Making use of these resources makes economic and environmental sense.

If you have an idea for a product that you think could be realised in plastic and you would like it manufactured by a company with an ethical approach to recycling, please get in touch. You can reach us +44 1692 501020 or email us on

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