Plastic is everywhere. Plastic is in places where it “belongs”, in our grocery stores, our cars, and our kitchens. And it’s in places where it has no need to be, our landfills, our waterways, and our forests. In 2014, 33.6 million tons of plastic were discarded by Americans. Less than 10% of it was recycled and under 20% of it was used to create heat and electricity. The rest? It ended up in landfills across the country where it will rest for up to 500 years before it fully decomposes.
Decomposition is not the answer to our abundant plastic problem. When plastic decomposes, it leaks pollutants into the Earth’s soil and waterways. Plastics that aren’t properly disposed of end up in our oceans. An estimated 165 million tons of plastic pollutes our oceans and it is estimated that another 8.8 million tons will enter the ocean this year. So what do we do with plastic?
The issues with plastic are abundant. One issue lies within the variety of plastics available. Every type of plastic has its own unique chemical composition and in order to properly recycle plastic, those compositions cannot be mixed. Another issue is the fact that plastics are contaminated upon production when they are printed on with ink or mixed with paper. Even more so, separating plastics is time-consuming and labor-intensive, so it is often neglected.
Recycling plastic has huge benefits to the health of our planet. However, out of the 7 types of plastic developed by the Society of Plastic Industries, only two are often recycled. Now, in major cities like New York and Los Angeles, more efforts are being made to recycle a third type of plastic which is used to create plastic bags. When plastics are recycled, they are shredded then melted down to form plastic pellets which are then used to create other objects.
Recycling plastics can be a daunting task, but it is necessary to sustain our environment. For help with your plastic waste management and recycling, contact us at Wasteology today. We practice resourceful plastic recycling to help reduce the amount of plastic waste in landfills and can help your business do the same. Contact us today by calling 800-839-3454 or emails us at email@example.com.