Plastic is everywhere around us — containers, water bottles, packaging material, etc. Take water bottles for example, billions of them are produced annually in the United States alone. Add the billions that are produced all over world in different industries and you will be left with a staggering number. Discarding them efficiently can be quite a task and if it is not done properly, it will seriously harm our environment. So should we stop manufacturing plastic? That would be quite an extreme step, not to mention an unrealistic one as well. So, the next best thing to do is to recycle it. When you recycle plastic, both the environment and the economy will benefit. Let’s see how.
Two Major Environmental Benefits of Plastic Recycling
- Energy Conservation: Non-renewable energy sources like water, natural gas and petroleum are used for manufacturing plastic. Every time you manufacture a plastic item, more and more natural energy sources are getting depleted. When you recycle, you can conserve these energy resources as you don’t have to constantly produce new plastic products. It takes lesser energy to recycle plastic and create new products from them as compared to manufacturing plastic from scratch.
- Reduction of Landfill Usage: The most popular way to dispose plastic waste is to send them to landfills. Not only does it take a lot of landfill space but it is quite an expensive affair as well. This can be eliminated by recycling plastic. In America 7.4 cubic yards of landfill is saved by recycling one ton of plastic. The recycled plastic can then be used to make different materials such as bottles, furniture, pipes, bin liners, etc.
How Does the Economy Benefit from Recycling Plastic
When you recycle plastic, you help in boosting the economic development and generate more employment opportunities in several sustainable industries. Employment can be created for collecting and sorting plastics in various facilities. Additionally, collecting plastic bottles for recycling helps in increasing the overall materials yield, maximizing landfill diversions and keeping up with the consumer demands. Apart from job generation, you can even save yourself some money. You will have to pay less on the landfill tax and on any other tasks concerned with disposing plastic waste. This money can rather be invested in creating effective recycling programs across various industries. By creating a sustainable society, you can support the country’s economy on a long-term basis.
Equipment Used for Plastic Recycling
Plastic recycling consists of several steps and industrial processes where plastic materials are separated into their base monomers. These are then made available for further polymerization at secondary and tertiary levels. To achieve this, several machines and equipment are used.
The sorting equipment helps in sorting and grouping the plastic materials according to resin type. The recyclable resins such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are separated from non-recyclable resins. Size reduction machines are used to cut plastic into smaller sizes to allow further processing and for providing easier packaging, transportation, and distribution of recycled stock. The washing equipment helps in cleaning and removing the dirt, grit, glue, paper, etc., from the plastic. The separating equipment helps in removing any attachments or non-reusable materials that may be present in a batch of flakes. Most separation processes can be categorized as “wet” or “dry” methods. The final step uses the pelletizing machines that help in converting post-consumer plastic into pellets that can be easily distributed and remanufactured.
More and more industries are taking the road to sustainability and recycling by adopting a circular business model, where trash is turned into treasure. It means that the organization doesn’t dispose of their waste but rather chooses to sort, reuse or repurpose whatever they can to create other products. Involve and encourage your consumers to do the same. Inform them of how your products can be recycled or reused. Provide them with adequate labeling on the products, give clear regulatory and safety reviews, and education campaigns.
Take the eco-friendly step and contact Compactor Management Company today, and give a new life to used plastic!
Northern California Compactors Inc. offers installation and support services for waste recycling equipment such as trash compactors, balers, shredders & conveyor systems. Established in 1981, it offers waste management solutions across the United States.