Many people are aware that products made from recycled materials are environmentally beneficial, but are not really sure of why. This makes it easier for those with a vested interest in the maintaining the natural-resource-to-landfill cycle to spread selective half-truths to support what they do. In nature, waste is always recycled - only mankind creates systems where waste is a problem. In fact, it is impossible to sustain any system in which waste is not effectively recycled. 200 years ago almost all paper was a recycled product - made from cotton and linen rags, and the use of trees as the basic raw material only dates from about 1850. Paper from waste needs only half the energy and water required to make it from wood pulp. So it reduces both carbon dioxide emissions (from the fuel) and water borne pollution at the same time. Another serious problem is what to do with our waste if we don't recycle it. Already land-fill is becoming a planning no-go area, and incineration adds to the problems of atmospheric pollution. Paper left to rot still releases the carbon dioxide in its fibre into the air, so re-use is a far better option. Indeed, do we have any alternative other than to recycle? If not, then we must insist on buying products made from recycled materials whenever we can.