I have explored the work of some artists and practitioners who use recycled materials within my sustainable theme book. What occurs to me though is that there is a blurred line sometimes between found items and recycling items. It is absolutely vital that from a sustainability point of view we do not convince ourselves that using a new material is a way of recycling because it seems disposable. Items that can still be useful in their intended role should still be used in that way. Truly recycled materials have absolutely no further use in their original role.
Jonathan Chapman has a very valid point. Recycling has a very important role but I do believe that some people therefore don’t consider the implications of unnecessary materials. For example too many people continue to use plastic bags from a shop because they can be recycled. But the reality is that it is far more preferable and far less damaging to have a proper shopping bag that can be reused and reused.
If we decide as artists to use recycled materials then I think that they should have absolutely no continued value in their original form.