How Can We Benefit from End-of-Life Plastics?
Do you know what happens to plastic packaging once it’s been used and no longer wanted?
Much of all plastic ends up in landfills or gets littered. It becomes hazardous material to our environment and is threatening our wildlife. Sadly, this is why plastics have such a bad reputation.
WHAT IF we collected and reprocessed plastic waste in such a way that it becomes more environmentally friendly, helping us reuse materials while boosting our economy?
Let’s stick to the plastic bags world right now and see what happens here.
Everyone is familiar with the 3 basic R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Due to the Plastic Bag Ban, shoppers replace their grocery bags with rigid “bring-your-own” type of bags.
Since it takes more resources and energy to produce alternative materials, the carbon footprint on our environment is higher with these products than with the manufacturing of light-weight plastic bags.
You can reuse plastic bags in multiple ways, such as reusing them as trash liners or bringing them along on your next shopping trip.
Ultimately, plastic bags reach their end-of-life and are no longer useful or wanted.
A recycling facility will collect and reprocess plastics into a material which is then used to manufacture new products.
Upcycling – another form of recycling
The term “Upcycling” refers to the act of manually reworking plastic bags into something different, without reprocessing it in a recycling facility.
Some people build amazing projects such as weaving plastic baskets or crocheting blankets for the homeless. Many posts their creative ideas and home businesses on social media.
Do you know about the 4th “R”?
With the development of new technologies, energy can be extracted from non-recyclable plastics. In Recovery, a processing center brings back plastics to its molecular level and then transforms it into renewable energy.
Recovery is extremely beneficial to a clean environment since it reduces waste and greatly diminishes greenhouse gas emissions.
So instead of wasting non-recyclable plastics we can use it to fuel our cars, provide electricity to our homes or create other energy sources.
We are now able to create a Circular Economy by using plastics as long as possible and then recycle or reprocess it into new products at the end of its life, over and over again.
No matter how you look at it, end-of-life plastics can be very beneficial to us all.
TDI Custom Packaging recommends the use of recycled resin in the production of certain polyethylene plastic packaging. Please contact us for more information.