Plastic, the Problematic Material
Plastic recycling is very important due to the amount of it that is used for consumer goods. The majority of plastic stems from people drinking bottled water. Millions of tons of it end up in the landfills or at the bottom of bodies of water every single year. Even with huge efforts in place the problem continues to be out there.
The good news is that in 2008 there were 2.4 billion pounds of plastic recycled. They came from consumers, communities, and large factories. While that may seem like a huge amount though it is just a fraction of what we should be recycling. This amount only accounts for about 27% of the overall plastic that is used annually.
The rest of it is found as litter, at the bottom of the bodies of water, and in landfills. In some areas the plastic is such a problem for aquatic life that it is stated to be larger than the state of Texas at the bottom of the oceans. That is a huge amount of litter that absolutely could have been prevented if humans had been taking plastic recycling seriously.
Even though most of the plastic stems from drinking bottled water there are other culprits. Many people eat on the go and that is where they come from. Deli foods are often in plastic see through containers to make them appealing to consumers. Yogurt is sold in plastic cups. There are fruit and other items that also come in those types of one serving plastic containers.
What you may not realize is that plastic is made from about 70% natural gas. This is a nonrenewable natural resource. Should it be depleted at the rate it is future generations will have to do without it. The option that we have though is to recycle as that will significantly reduce the amount of natural gas that we consume.
Eco friendly water bottles are another way that people can save on plastic that has to be recycled. These bottles are refilled so you drink out of them again and again. You don’t have anything to toss into the trash.
In 2010 the annual Keep America Beautiful campaign brought in about 189,000 plastic bottles that they found. These items found along roads, in parks, and in landfills. All of them were recycled.
If you aren’t recycling your plastic right now you need to make the commitment to do so. You can find location drop offs around your town such as the schools, parking areas, and stores. If you don’t have any such locations it is time to get your community involved to establish them.
Create a bin at home where all family members can quickly toss their plastic items. When it is full you can take it to the recycling location. When possible you should rinse out the plastic products before you recycle them. This will help to reduce the chances of contamination.
You can also sort your plastic by the type of it. At the bottom of the plastic bottles you will see numbers that indicate the type. However, if you can’t sort them that can be done later on at a facility so don’t avoid recycling plastic because you don’t want to do that task.
Another very effective way you can save on plastic is to stop bringing home your shopping items in those bags. Instead, buy reusable eco friendly bags that you can take with you. Keep them in your car so that you always have them available. They are durable and they don’t require you to have tons of plastic bags around your house that will eventually get tossed into the trash.