The focus of the last century was mainly on finding natural resources and processing these for ultimate consumption. In this century the concerns about depleting primary raw materials, combined with the high energy cost for extraction, have shifted the spotlight to better management of these resources.
Even though recycling reflects a long tradition of conservation and protection of our environment, it is still in its infancy stage and evolving. Industrial growth has resulted in the generation of more scrap as a by-product. This has forced 'scrap' to industrialise itself as a commodity into what is now the recycling industry. Recycling is a growth industry with a bright future.
Individuals, institutions, organisations and governments all need to be better trained and made fully aware of the potential and global benefits of recycling, as well as the impact of not recycling.