What is RRR
The principles of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, also known as “RRR”, constitute, together with the recovery of energy and final disposal, the five steps in the hierarchy of waste management in the European Union. These five steps are ranked on the basis of the preference ladder that concerns the manner of waste management as appears in the pyramid graph below:
The closer to the peak of the pyramid that a waste management way is found the more desirable it is. Therefore, according to the ranking, the more desirable actions are reduction, reuse and recycling, and they are clearly ahead of the recovery of energy and disposal. At the same time, the practical adoption of this hierarchy, indicates that through prevention and reusage of products, more and more waste will be available to lead to the next stages of management. That is, the more we reduce waste produced the less waste is finally led to recycling, energy recovery or final disposal.
It is therefore clear that the best and most economical choice among methods of waste management is prevention and reduction of waste production. The best waste is that which was never produced. The effort to reduce the production of waste increasingly influences European Union policies and by extent of member-states for the management of waste. The basic ways to reduce the production of waste are the ecological planning of products and the training of consumers towards a more responsible consumer action. Responsible consumer action means to buy more intelligently only the products we need, and to choose the more durable products or products made from recyclable materials or which can be recycled more easily or which come with the lesser packaging.
With the term “reuse” we mean the use of a material or object again, either for its original purpose, or for a similar purpose for which it had been made, without substantially altering the physical shape of the material or object. With reuse we consume lesser resources compared with recycling and for this reason reuse as a solution for waste management is preferable to recycling. Examples of reuse are the use of a bag or a vase for more than one occasion, the repair of electronic equipment and the repair of clothes, shoes and furniture.
With recycling, waste is used as raw material for the creation of new products, with the result that we save on raw material and energy in comparison with the manufacture from scratch of the same or similar products. It is, that is, the alteration of products into secondary raw material that are used for the manufacture of new products which avoids wasting primary raw material.