Plastics are one of the most versatile materials that we make use of. They are all around us, whether we’re at home, at work, when we go shopping and even when we’re on holiday. However, the prevalence of plastics also means that we have large amounts to then dispose of. Moreover, recycling plastic is very important, but why?
As you may be aware, there are many types of plastics and many types of plastics can be recycled. But, you’re probably unaware as to why environmentalists and waste experts such as myself take plastic recycling so seriously.
As the owner of 4 Waste Removals, I’m asked this question often. So today, I will answer this for you and everyone else out there wondering the same thing. Continue reading as I list just some reasons why you plastic recycling is important.
1. Plastics make up a huge amount of our solid waste
As I mentioned, there are large amounts of plastics that are disposed of as solid waste. But you’ll probably be surprised to know that plastics make up more than 12% of all solid waste disposed. This is equivalent to 30 million tons of plastic being disposed every year!
The unfortunate part about plastic disposal is that it is simply thrown into landfills along with other waste. Given that most types of plastic can be recycled, sending plastics to landfills is a terrible thing to do to the environment. We are running out of landfill space at an alarming rate, which is why we need to refrain from disposing plastic along with solid waste.
2. Plastic takes ages to break down
Let me ask you this; do you have an idea of how long it takes for plastics to degrade back into the environment? The answer may surprise you. It’s between 500-1000 years. This is well beyond comprehension for most people.
Simply put, when we dump plastics into landfills, it doesn’t break down easily. Rather, it clogs up valuable landfill space and can take centuries to break down.
Furthermore, if plastics are sent to waste processing facilities, they can overburden the facility which leads to another issue. The burning of plastic is very harmful to the environment. And as if these two things weren’t bad enough, if plastics are disposed of in the ocean, it then becomes contaminated. I will discuss this further in the next point.
Here, at 4 Waste Removals, we don’t send the plastics that we collect as waste to landfills. Rather, we segregate plastics from other types of waste and send them to a facility that offers rubbish recycling in Brisbane.
3. Plastic pollution is a major problem
While plastic pollution is prevalent in landfills, as mentioned, it’s not the only place where plastics cause pollution. As a matter of fact, 90% of all waste that is floating on the surface of oceans is plastic. That can be approximated to about 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile!
And, plastics in the ocean really harm the ecosystem. Over a million sea birds and over 100,000 marine animals are killed by plastic pollution every year. Furthermore, 44% of seabird species, 22% of crustaceans, a growing range of fish species and all sea turtles are known to have plastic in their bodies.
Plastic pollution is a major problem which must be dealt with immediately. If we don’t stop it now, we’ll only create a bad environment for future generations.
4. Not all types of plastics can be recycled
I mentioned that most types of plastics can be recycled. However, certain types of plastics such as Styrofoam, trash bags, zip pouches, bubble wrap, cereal box plastic, clear plastic wrap, potato chips bags, some department store plastic bags, candy wrappers, 6-pack plastic and soiled plastic bags and bottles cannot be recycled.
There are several economical and technical reasons why these forms of plastic cannot be recycled. But the bottom line here is that no matter what we do, this plastic waste will inevitably reach landfills. And, this plastic waste will accumulate, creating a volume of refuse that won’t go away easily.
As such, you should ensure that you recycle other types of plastic as much as possible. The types of plastic that can be recycled include polystyrene (compact disc cases, plastic forks, etc.), polypropylene (medicine bottles), vinyl packaging, low density polyethylene (disposable cups) and high density polyethylene (milk bottles). If you’ve been disposing these types of plastic along with other plastics, then I urge you to stop doing so.
And if this all sounds too confusing or you have masses of plastics to dispose of, simply contact a company that specialise in rubbish recycling in Brisbane, such as 4 Waste Removals. We will collect all your plastic waste and send it to the nearest recycling depot for you.
5. Recycled plastics can be put to good use
Another reason why plastic recycling is important is because it can put to good use rather than unnecessarily ending up in landfall. Recycled plastic can be used to create items such as shampoo bottles, oil funnels, floor tiles and traffic cones among many other products.
Moreover, there are many innovative ways to use recycled plastic. For example, recycled plastic can be used for creating construction decks, sports clothing, vehicle interiors and other products.
As you can see, plastic can live many lives so why on earth would you cut its life short – hurting the environment in the process?
6. Plastic recycling conserves energy and the environment
Finally, my last reasoning as to why plastic recycling is important is this. For every 1 ton of plastic that is recycled, it is estimated that 7 yards of landfill space is conserved. This is significant, especially considering the fact that we’re running out of landfill space rapidly.
Moreover, by recycling plastic, 80% of the total energy that goes into manufacturing new plastic products is conserved. The manufacturing of plastic involves the use of petroleum and other fossil fuels. Not only are these fuels scarce, but also the process of manufacturing plastic takes place in an environmentally harmful manner. By recycling, we can reduce the amount of plastic being manufactured and help the environment.
Stanford University estimates that recycling 1 ton of plastic conserves 7,200 kilowatt hours of electricity. That’s enough electricity to run an average household for 7 months!
I’m sure you can now see that plastic recycling is extremely important. Therefore, please make sure to treat your plastics properly. Reduce the amount of plastics that you use and if you have to dispose plastic at all, be sure to recycle it correctly. Alternatively, contact a rubbish recycling company in Brisbane to dispose of it for you.
Plastic recycling is very important and must be taken seriously. Plastics make up a huge amount of solid waste and take centuries to break down in landfill or the ocean. Therefore, all recyclable plastics should be recycled to reduce landfall, conserve energy and conserve the environment.
If you consider yourself to be environmentally conscious and want to recycle plastic correctly, 4 Waste Removals can help. We understand that finding a reliable company that offers rubbish recycling in Brisbane can be difficult, which is why we make it easy. To hire our services, simply get in touch with us. Our helpful rubbish removal experts will be more than happy to help you recycle your plastic waste.