Once you have discarded plastic materials, it takes centuries to break down. They also clog up landfills and overburden the waste-processing facilities. If we turn plastic bottles, packaging and other plastic waste into new goods by recycling them, it not only helps the environment but also creates new economic opportunities. Plastic recycling keeps useful materials out of landfills and encourages businesses and individuals to develop new and innovative products out of plastic waste. Did you know that there are more than 30 million ton of plastic waste generated every year, which takes centuries to break down but if we recycle 1ton plastic every year then we can save 7 yards of landfill space and conserve 80% of energy.
Some plastics can be recycled once or twice but there are some plastics which cannot be recycled as they are hard to recycle due to technical and economical reasons. For instance, recyclers do not accept Styrofoam plastic, because it is lightweight and its foam structure makes it cumbersome to deal with. But Polystyrene products, such as plastic forks and compact disc cases, are however recyclable. Other plastic goods that can be easily recycled includes vinyl packaging, medicine bottles made of polypropylene, low-density polyethylene disposable drink cups and high-density polyethylene milk bottles. Everyday we use and see many goods that are made of recycled plastic that we did not know of they are shampoo bottles, traffic cones, floor tiles and oil funnels. So, when we go to the yard to sell old items we should make it a point to enquire what kind of plastic they accept for recycling.
Plastic goods have gained its popularity because they are durable, but this nature of plastic goods becomes a disadvantage when they are discarded. The natural processes degrade biodegradable products like paper, cardboard and wood products in a few months but it has no effect on plastic materials as its composition do not break down easily and takes years to do so. When dumped in landfills, plastics takes up more space and it stays there for years thus, reducing space for other waste materials. When plastic bits and pieces are there open in nature it spoils the landscape and becomes hazards to animals. Diverting discarded plastics from the refuse stream into recyclable goods keeps these persistent materials out of landfills and the natural environment.
Using recycled plastic innovatively requires creative thinking on the part of designers, technicians and manufacturers. Innovations made of recycled plastic include construction decking which never rots, types of sports clothing and vehicle interiors. There are many artists who have turned to recycled plastics for thought-provoking art. Although a number of plastics they use to make their art is very small compared to commercial uses, but they do help to raise environmental awareness and inspire creative thinking among other individuals.
We all use plastic goods in our day to day life but when we are ready to discard them we just throw them out with regular trash. This habit, in turn, spoils the landscape as the plastic wastes accumulate in the landfill for years. So, instead of throwing away plastic goods with regular trash we should collect it and sell plastic goods in the yard for recycling.