Recycling is categorized into three types, according to the quality of the resulting material. “Cascade recycling” refers to the use of materials whose quality has degraded for applications where lower quality does not pose a problem, such as reusing bath water to wash clothes. “Semi-closed recycling” refers to mixing recovered materials whose quality has degraded with new materials to improve the overall quality, and using the resulting mixture for applications where a medium-level of quality does not pose a problem. Mixing recycled newsprint with virgin pulp to produce recycled paper is a good example. “Closed recycling” refers to recycling in which the used materials are recycled to make the products from which they are recovered. The rare metals recycling business being advanced by Honda and Japan Metals & Chemicals Co. falls under this category. Their recycling process requires advanced recycling technologies to keep product quality the same between the new and the recycled materials. Constructing a business flow that properly recycles the materials is also an important part of achieving closed recycling.
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