String Recycling: New Life from Old Strings

7.4lb box

The structure and shape of strings make them difficult and costly to recycle. But that hasn’t stopped some manufacturers from tackling the challenge, and even extracting metal from old strings to use in new ones, writes Tom Stewart

According to the World Bank, more than two billion tons of domestic waste are generated across the planet each year, twelve per cent of it plastic and another four per cent metal. To say that strings for musical instruments make up a tiny proportion of this would be a huge understatement, but when you consider that manufacturers’ annual combined production runs to tens of millions of the things, it isn’t surprising that some companies have been keen to explore how they can prevent their products from ending up in landfill or an incinerator. I asked a range of string manufacturers what they made of emerging recycling technologies, and what they were doing to help the industry conserve the materials it uses.


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