- There is global concern that the Earth’s limited resources are being consumed at an unsustainable rate, and agreement that they must be used in an efficient and sustainable manner to minimise their environmental impact. Using materials efficiently creates “more with less” and delivers greater value for society with less input.
- The current approach to classifying materials is binary; “renewable” vs “non- renewable.” Adding a new category of “Permanent Materials” allows for a better understanding of the environmental impacts of different materials across multiple life cycles, which is not captured using current Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) assessments.
- The degradation of other materials as they are recycled multiple times leads to ‘downcycling’ where, as a result of physical and chemical processes inherent to the recycling process, they become less and less like the primary raw material and inevitably this results in the material being used for less and less valuable purposes until eventually it must be incinerated or landfilled. This does not happen for permanent materials.