According to environmental specialists, plastic products need to stay for at least 500 years in landfills to decompose. Knowing this fact, people are left with two options: (a) totally stop using any kind of plastic or (b) find ways to recycle and reuse them. Despite our initiatives to choose paper over plastic, we have to admit that the latter still plays a big role in our daily living (hello to plastic drinking bottles, plastic utensils, plastic cups, plastic bags, etc.) Hence, we have to choose option B. This is where plastic recycling comes in.
The Impact of Plastic Recycling
- First and foremost, plastic recycling helps reduce waste and reserve more landfill space to other types of waste. In fact, a study says that a ton of recycled plastic items saves 7.4 cubic yards of disposal area.
- Reusing and recycling plastic items can help lessen water pollution, and preserve sea creatures. There’s a research that says plastic garbage thrown into the sea kills as much as 1 million sea inhabitants each year.
- Recycling reduces oil and energy consumption. An estimated number of 1,000 to 2,000 gallons of gasoline is saved by recycling a ton of plastic. On the other hand, the Environmental Protection Agency said that recycling a ton of plastic saves an estimate of 3.8 barrels of crude oil. This initiative is also much better than burning plastics since smoke has a negative impact in the ozone layer.
- Studies say that reusing, recycling, and composting plastic provide up to ten times more jobs compared to landfill and waste incineration roles.
- When trapped in soil, a plastic item breaks down into smaller pieces called micro-plastics that pollute the Thus, it’s safe to say that recycling plastic helps preserve the quality of our soil.
Our Plastic Recycling Status
Sadly, only 27% of the plastic bottles we use are being recycled. This rate is relatively low considering the fact that technology advances rapidly, and we have better recycling resources. Many still look away when they see a poster of an environmental call, and throw their plastic items outside the car’s window. This is the reality.
But, It’s Never Too Late!
The good thing is we can always change (or improve), and build a better tomorrow. We should start supporting more plastic recycling projects, waste management companies, and other green initiatives. After all, we don’t want the future generation – our kids, nephews, nieces, cousins, siblings, etc. – to suffer the consequences of our passivity towards the environment, don’t we?