Right here and now in the 21st century, Plastic is considered one of the most important threats to Mother Earth. The amount of plastic that human beings have showered on the planet is an unfathomable number. Yet, in these times of realisation, we aim to correct our mistakes and do better as we build a sustainable environment for our future.
For this, we need to understand "What is plastic?" to begin our journey.
In early 1900's, plastic was introduced as a robust synthetic polymer to aid niche industries. It was used to make electrical components and telephones with one of its early forms known as Bakelite. The impact created by plastic in the manufacturing industry was huge as it can be altered to any desired shape when soft and it retained the shape with vigorous strength when hardened.
On a molecular level, plastic forms at least 1,000 joints and is the best example for a polymerization. Unlike naturally occurring polymers such as animal horn, tar, tortoise shell, latex, amber or tree sap, most synthetic polymers such as, plastic products can be recycled and reused to a certain extent. The boom in the production and usage of plastic during the World War 1 paved the way for plastic to become a part of our day-to-day life.
Now, why is plastic dangerous?
To humans, the most widely recognised danger is the micro plastics in our ecosystem, both terrestrial and aquatic. Most of us start our day by brushing our teeth with a plastic brush with synthetic bristles. We eat food that comes in plastic packaging. If you live in the cities, we breathe air that holds micro plastics in it from worn out tyres. None of us ever seem to notice these while hustling to lead our lives.
“We need to tackle this situation in such a manner that our children are educated enough to make this world better for their children.”
There are several studies conducted in the last few decades that brought out unsettling findings about plastics. These findings paved the way for creating an awareness of the harmful and long-term effects of our former saviours. Aerial components such as plastic particulate have been identified as a catalyst that promoted lung cancer in a lot of individuals. Not to mention occupational asthma and inflammation in lungs.
"Ambient (outdoor air pollution) in both cities and rural areas was estimated to cause 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide in 2016."
Although plastics brought a sense of convenience to our lives, the aftereffects were something we could not just discard. It took a step further when it started affecting our children. Recently, scientists discovered the presence of PET plastics, used to make drinking bottles, in blood samples. Outdoor air pollution is crucial, and it affects all beings alike regardless of if they're from high, mid or low income countries and it even extends to our pets and wild animals. So eventually the question becomes, “Are you willing to spend the rest of your life knowing your loved ones may have to live in the aftermath of your actions?”
With several plastic recycling centres emerging across the world aiming for a circular economy, we now have a fighting chance at nourishing Mother Earth with a better lifespan. We have an imminent need to assert the micro habits that we do to help ease recycling and sustainability journey in OUR everyday life. To put this in perspective, we need to analyse what we do every day and identify opportunities where we can assert our knowledge in recycling.
Numerous researchers across the planet had these to say about a few major economies from across the world:
- In UAE, the plastic recycling market stood at 0.84 Million Tonnes in 2020 and is forecast to reach 1.44 Million Tonnes by 2030, growing at a healthy CAGR of 5.34% until 2030.
- The United States plastic recycling market stood at 28.91 Million Tonnes in 2020 and is forecast to reach 44.40 Million Tonnes by 2030, growing at a healthy CAGR of 4.25% until 2030.
- In India, the plastic recycling market stood at 6.06 Million Tonnes in FY2021 and is forecast to reach 12.43 Million Tonnes by FY2030, growing at a healthy CAGR of 6.98% until FY2030.
- In China, the Plastic recycling market stood at 60.44 Million Tonnes in 2020 and is forecast to reach 102.20 Million Tonnes by 2030, growing at a healthy CAGR of 5.01% until 2030.
- Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the global market for Plastic Recycling estimated at US$33 Billion in the year 2020, is projected to reach a revised size of US$47.3 Billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 6.1% over the analysis period.
Now, what are the various recycling tools that help us achieve this feat? How do we get started? Or Am I doing enough already? These are things you may be asking yourself while reading this, yet you may not even realist you may have done a certain number of efforts yourself.
Conducting a Waste Audit
A Waste Audit is great to put yourself on the board and dissect the certain nuances that are involved in your environment. A Waste Audit answers the most important question for you, “What kind of waste do I produce? Do I have effective ways to deal with it? What can I do to enable myself?”
Setting up your recycling space
A recycling bins can be used in our homes and office spaces. For example, Modular recycling bins like Nexus50 or MultiStream recycling bins like the Campus Trio. These bins are essential to segregate the waste effectively as we tend to produce more than 1 recyclable waste item, mainly plastic, paper, cans, food or even general waste.
If you are looking forward to start recycling for commercial spaces or corporate office spaces, you will also need a set of heavy-duty equipment's such as MGB Bins, Galvanised Bins, Compactors, Shredders and other Recycling Machinery.
Luckily, you have recycling essential equipment suppliers all around the world. Power Bear by German Distribution LLC recommends reaching out to your nearest supplier if you know what you need. Although if you are in a place where you need to audit your situation, reach out to a Waste Management or Recycling consultant to get a better view and valuable insights.