A big step in the right direction

11May10

It’s called “upcycling”, a process an environmentally conscious Montreal company looking to make a buck while reducing our carbon footprint may soon introduce into our collective vocabulary.

As reported in today’s Montreal Gazette, a company called Lavergne Environmental Services has coined the term to describe its process of  recycling plastic for use in Hewlett Packard print cartridges. It is the sole such producer in the world right now, using plastic from discarded water bottles to supply the process.

Jean-Luc Lavergne, president of the company, says it took him 10 years to perfect the procedure, in part because recycled plastic is not generally of high enough quality to be used for commercial purposes.

The idea of repurposing old plastics is not new. But being able to do something commercially viable with them is.

The Lavergne example is, interestingly, the second such one I’ve seen in the past few days. While watching television with my significant other a few nights ago, a commercial for one of the cell phone companies — Telus, or Fido, I think — touted they are now using plastic from something like dish soap bottles in some of their phones.

(I’m not sure she was as impressed as I was, but I tend to get excited about these things, so she expects it)

Bravo to these companies. Sure, they want to score points with the pro-environmental crowd with their green-friendly maneuvers, but so what. At the end of the day, what matters is that we are collectively starting find more ways to harness the power of recycling for the betterment of all.

I can’t wait to buy my first phone made from recycled plastic. If I’m going to pay exorbitantly high monthly bills, at least I can feel like I’m doing a small good deed for the planet in doing so.

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