Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Plastic

Overview

Plastics is a material that is not only often used but also often thrown away. This article highlights the importance of recycling for plastics, and gives an overview about the process.

Article Highlights

  • Recycling is particularly important for plastic because of its long natural decomposition.
  • Ideally new products can be created from old plastic.
  • Different recycling processes are applied to different kinds of plastic.

Today, the world consists of at least 7 billion people and is still rapidly growing. A lot has changed in the past centuries, especially the environment. Resources are no longer freely available nor abundant and people are fighting over what’s left. And Instead of replenishing these resources, people would just add even more waste, creating twice as more trash than actually salvaging it. For others, it is a lot easier to ignore the grim reality of what’s really happening than actually saving it.

As of 2017, the world’s response to the dying planet is through energy saving routines and one of the routines would include recycling. Recycling is a process of collecting and processing of trash, into new products. It reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and combustion facilities. It conserves natural resources, saves energy, and helps sustain the environment for future generations.

Plastic is one the most common materials used nowadays and is essential that it would be recycled since it is non-biodegradable. Plastics are available in a number of forms like plastic containers, jars, bottles, plastic bags, and many more. Each plastic item, are categorized based on their chemical make-up and are sorted accordingly when recycled.  They are identified through 7 categories, SPI code 1 to 7.  SPI code 1 which would include soft drink bottles, mineral water bottles, juice containers and etc whilst SPI code 7, are for baby bottle or multi-gallon capacity containers. Consumers and recyclers would just need to follow the encoded numbers to properly recycle each one.

Like Plastic, rubber also has become prominent in industries. It is used all in different materials but most commonly in tires of vehicles. It is important that rubber be recycled due to its long process of decomposition, and when burnt, it becomes poisonous and carcinogenic. Instead of increasing landfill pollution, it is better to recycle rubber and reuse it. There are multiple processes used to properly reuse tires. Firstly, the tired need to be collected the landfill and then taken into to the production site of an industry. Followed by vulcanization, the tire mulch is made to form new rubber for newer tires. For the mechanical process, the tires are shredded by vigorous machines. The rubber is then pulverized and magnets are used to separate steel from other magnetic elements. Lastly, vulcanization takes place, where rubber polymers are strengthened by the addition of steel and Sulphur. Reclaimed rubber has many uses such as cushioning in parks or schools, sport shoes, for sidewalks, and also as a source for coal fuel.

Waste, and how one chooses to handle it, affects the world’s environment. The environment is everything around including the air, water, land, plants, and everything man-made. That is why is it important to reduce, reuse, and recycle products such as plastics and rubbers. Proper disposal and waste management are just simple ways to protect the planet from dying. Not only does it help the world today, but it would also help the future generations.

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