Demand for recycled materials fluctuates over time. Now, because demand for cardboard is
low, our local recyclers are paying to have it stored. However, cardboard continues to be
diverted from the landfill by our local recyclers and that is an important consideration. (Like food waste, cardboard is biodegradable, and as such, produces methane gas as it breaks down.)
One market trend that remains is consumers opting to purchase sustainably-produced goods.
Sustainable shopping feels good. It reflects our concerns about the environment at a time of
dramatic climate change, of visible increases in land, air and water pollution, of a growing
scarcity of natural resources, a decrease in animal populations, and increasing reports of the ill-effects of chemical additives to a wide range of products. Our buying more sustainably-
produced goods puts pressure on retailers to purchase a larger amount and variety of recycled material. It creates new and different jobs and fosters research and product development.
In order to bolster their authenticity, loyalty, and revenue, retailers are having to pay attention to consumers increased demand for sustainable products. It is happening. There are ever more rigorously-tested, high-quality sustainably made products for sale. Read their labels and make product comparisons. Choose to be in the growing group of Americans who are shopping sustainably and know by doing so, you are increasing the demand for recycled materials.
By Bev Harrison