Glossary

Image by Christopher Vega

Scrunch Test

ASK YOURSELF


Can it be scrunched into a ball easily (eg. cereal bag)?

Does it resist springing back into shape? 

Is it soft and floppy?

Is it a polybag, produce bag, chip packet?


YES?

Congratulations, got yourself a soft plastic.

NO?

Rigid plastics generally go in your mingled recycling bin.

Too easy.

Recycled or Recyclable

RECYCLED: Made from post-consumer or post-industry materials which has been collected, processed and turned into a new material or product with either the same or lesser value.

RECYCLABLE: New product or virgin material which possess the properties compatible with being recycled in the future.

Image by Michael Jin
Image by Boxed Water Is Better

Biodegradable Vs Degradable

BIODEGRADABLE: Breaks down into organic matter within a given time frame (eg. 5 years). Process only occurs when deposited into the earth or environment in presence of micro-organisms.

DEGRADABLE: Breaks down into smaller pieces in landfill. Does not turn into organic matter. Term refers to breaking into microscopic pieces which can still affect the environment as micro-plastics.

Circularity | Closed Loop

A system which recovers all products for reuse or recycling at comparable quality level.


EXAMPLE

The Soda Can

Aluminium can be infinitely recycled without material loss or weakened performance, so it can be recycled and remade into the same quality product over and over again.


Other materials such as paper are recycled downstream into products of lesser quality, eventually becoming a waste product.

Image by Angely Acevedo
Image by Brandi Redd

Zero Waste

Zero Waste refers to a design and manufacturing process which eliminates pattern cutting waste or material loss.


EXAMPLES

Knitted garments (zero fabric off-cuts).