Plastics are one of the popular materials used to produce a vast range of commercial and industrial products. Easy availability, excellent moldability, cheap manufacturing costs, and versatility are some factors that have immensely contributed to growing dependence on this material in the past few years. Various types of plastics are used for making daily use items such as bottles to food containers, grocery and trash bags, utensils, and packaging containers for all types of cosmetics. Also, they are used in the production of furniture, computers, and several other industrial equipment. In short, there is too much plastics everywhere, which means there is a lot to dispose of. Plastic pollution is a major problem in the world today. It is seen that almost 90% of the water bodies on the earth are contaminated with plastic. It is approximated that there are 46,000 plastic pieces in every square mile. Hence, plastic recycling is becoming important than ever before. Is that all? Why has plastic scrap recycling gained prominence in the USA? How is plastic scrap recycling contributing to the society and the environment? Read the post to find answers.
Why There Is a Need for Plastic Scrap Recycling?
According to the International Bottled Water Association, in the year 2012, Americans consumed 9.67 billion gallons of bottled water. There was an increase of 9.1 billion gallons in the said year as compared to the previous year. This suggests that the United States of America is one of the largest consumers of bottled water. Hence, plastic recycling has become a necessity in the country.
Plastic Scrap Recycling & Its Impact on the Society and Environment
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, plastic scrap wastes accounted for the 12% of 254 million tons of waste produced in the year 2007, whereas it was 13% in 2013. It means more than 30 million tons of plastics produced every year.
There are several other benefits of the plastic scrap recycling. They are as mentioned below:
- Energy Conservation: In 2019, a team of researchers at the Pacific Institute of California confirmed that production of a pint-size bottled water was extremely energy consuming. As it required 2000 times energy to produce a pint compared to the equal amount of tap water. This is because the plastic manufacturing process involves the processing of petroleum, as well as fossil fuels. There is a shortage of fossil fuels, and the production is often conducted in a harmful environment. A study by Stanford University confirmed that 1-ton plastic recycling contributed to the conservation of 7,200 kilowatt electricity hours. According to the Recycling Coalition of Utah, 1-ton of recycled plastic also helps save 685 gallons of oil, and 98 million Btu’s of oil. Thus, by recycling, we can easily reduce the plastic production, and protect the environment.
- Recycling Saves Landfill Space: Various reports suggest that these materials will take almost 100 years to break down in a landfill. It is a well-known fact that plastics is a bulky material, which means it takes lots of space in a landfill. The recycling will speed up the breakdown process, and allow reprocessing the materials into several other useful products. It is proven that 1 ton of recycled plastic can easily save over 7.4 cubic yards of landfill.
- Assisting in Preserving Animals and Plants: Plastic waste of any type is dangerous for living beings on the earth. Every year, used plastic products are dumped in oceans around the world. These plastic products have a slow disintegration rate, and they enter into the bodies of animals’ who drink water from these oceans or depend on these water bodies for their food. It is seen that many times, sea animals such as sea turtles and seabirds confuse small plastic pellets for food items, and consume them. Also, plastic nets dumped into these water bodies may entangle fish, mammals, and birds, thereby making it extremely difficult for them to move around and find their food. Thus, plastic recycling will aid in the preservation of plants and animals that depend on the ocean.
- Plastic Scrap Recycling Creates Jobs: Recycling plastic creates more jobs than disposal. According to some studies, trashing 10,000 tons of plastic waste creates jobs for 6 people, whereas recycling will create jobs for 36 people. The plastic recycling industry employs people in varying roles from material sorters to logistics people to chemists. With plastic pollution reaching alarming levels, there is an ongoing investment in finding innovative ways to utilize plastic. As the recycling industry continues to grow in the UA, and in the other parts of the world, it will create more job opportunities for people. Several statistics suggest that the number of workers in the recycling industry earn more in comparison to the same number of workers in the automobile industry.
Do you regularly use plastics for manufacturing? If yes, then you can consider recycled plastic for your activities. By doing so, you will be directly cutting down your green gas emissions, as well as contributing to the society and environment in a big way. If you have already made up a mind on investing in recycled plastics, it is important that you source them from a reputed distributor in your area. Mid Continent Plastics is one of the industry-leading distributors of recycled plastics in the USA. The company provides a wide variety of eco-friendly recycled plastics.