Reduce, reuse and recycle Second Opinion
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Infopac on 3Rs

A GDRC Gateway to 3R Policies, Strategies
and Action for Material Efficiency



Hari Srinivas
Continuing Research Series E-018. June 2015.

3Rs
While '3Rs' stand for reduce, reuse and recycle, the concept itself goes beyond just better waste management and calls for the building of an economy based on the life-cycle approach, covering both sustainable production and sustainable consumption.
The issue of 3R has become a significant policy approach for sustainable development with the priorities placed on it by the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and one of its key outcome documents - the '10 Year Framework Programme on Sustainable Consumption and Production'. Also, Para 22 of the WSSD Joint Plan of Implementation specifically endorses the 3R policy approach as a means to achieve sustainable consumption and production.

The 3R approach, focusing on reduce, reuse, and recycle, essentially aims to set up a sound material cycle society within the concept of a life-cycle economy, where consumption of natural resources is minimized and the environmental load is reduced, as much as possible.



Return to Urban Waste
Contact: Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org

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R - Think again about throwing your waste away.

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ecycling (Japan): Glass cullet reuse rate has been increasing every year since FY1990 and had already reached 90.3% by FY2003, exceeding the 85%-level that was expected to be achieved by FY2005 under the Law for Promotion of Effective Utilization of Resources.

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euse (Canada): Mandatory provisions of used oil deposit/collection facilities by all vendors of lubricants to target used oil produced by different users, has enabled the return of used oil to the point of purchase for reuse or recovery.

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inimization and Recovery (Germany): Ordinance on the Avoidance and Recovery of Packaging Waste, 1998, calls for avoidance or reducing the environmental impacts of waste arising from packaging. By June 2001, the share of all packaging waste being recovered was 65 percent by weight, and the share of recycling was 45 percent by weight.

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ecycling and Composting (USA): In 1999, recycling and composting activities prevented about 64 million tons of material from ending up in landfills and incinerators. USA recycles 28 percent of its waste, a rate that has almost doubled during the past 15 years. 42 percent of paper, 40 percent of plastic soft drink bottles, 55 percent of aluminum beer and soft drink cans, 57 percent of steel packaging, and 52 percent of major appliances are now recycled.