Principle of Minimal Material DiversityThe principle of minimal material diversity states that a small number of standard materials are preferred to a large number of unique materials. It is a rule of thumb that makes things easier to reuse and recycle.
ReuseConsider the task of deconstructing a building to reuse its materials. If the building is made from thousands of different materials it is an extremely resource intensive task to reuse everything. If the building is made from 95% steel and glass, it's far easier.
RecyclingGenerally speaking, an object that is 100% made from a common material is easier to recycle. For example, a bottle that is is made from a common plastic with a label made from the same type of plastic is easier to recycle that a plastic bottle with paper glued to its front.
|Overview: Material Diversity
The number of unique materials in a design.
As a rule of thumb, material diversity is a bad thing for sustainability as it makes things difficult to reuse and recycle.