5 Benefits of Recycling Plastic
It’s a widespread misconception—plastic, deemed sinister is responsible for most damages on earth. But have we ever thought, despite its wrong, publicity plastic is still everywhere? Let’s be honest, it’s not only because it is useful, essential in many ways convenient; the fact is that it is affordable. Perhaps so affordable that we find it ‘convenient’ to just throw it away. The problem lies in our attitude toward plastic and that’s why solving the plastic waste problem would require more than just switching to cloth bags at the market and paper drinking straws at restaurants. Our disposable consumer culture which has reshaped the planet in the span of a single lifetime will require a fundamental change in thinking about how plastics are made, used, and discarded.
It's time we get serious and fix the problem through recycling, because…
New plastic is made from fossil fuel hydrocarbons. That’s why, recycling reduces the need to grow, harvest or extract new raw materials from the earth. This means less damage to the natural world with fewer forests being cut down, rivers being diverted, or wild animals being harmed or displaced in the process. There would be less pollution of water, soil, and air too. So, the larger picture here is that recycling would protect the ecosystems and wildlife.
Recycling clears up landfill space
Imagine this. About 7.4 cubic meters of landfill space could be saved by recycling around one ton of plastic. That’s what we must aim at with appropriate waste management through recycling and pruning of plastics.
Recycling helps save energy
Plastic manufacturing plants intake huge amounts of power. In contrast, recycling plastic takes 88 per cent less energy and hence is recommended. It helps reduce the strain on the finite resources of the earth like natural gas, petroleum, coal, wood, and water.
Recycling helps keep plastic out of the oceans
Most of our plastic gets washed into rivers and oceans, where it harms sea life and pollutes coastlines and waterways. This in turn affects the food we source from the river, sea and soil. Choosing to recycle materials rather than tossing them into trash helps safeguard coasts and banks and thereby ensure that our food, and hence our health, isn’t harmed.
Recycling increases the happiness quotient
New jobs in manufacturing can be created through recycling. It also saves money because you are reusing what’s already there in some shape or form and it makes you feel good because you are contributing to saving the planet. When you recycle, you are fighting global warming, conserving energy, and creating new jobs for your country. There is no planet B, so go ahead, start recycling more professionally and efficiently!
A food for thought: India is the first country in the world which started practicing recycling of plastics on INDUSTRIAL SCALE. Entire supply chain of waste collectors (rag pickers), segregators and vendors to collect the plastic waste is well established. The collected waste reaches the recycling site and thereafter transported to the plastic product manufacturers. However the unprocessed waste lies on the roads or public places and becomes eye soar. This creates a bad image for India globally in spite of having highest rate (more than 50% in India against average 15% rest of world) of plastic recycling.
Only when we are empowered by knowledge can we take the necessary steps to change the plastic equation—thereby protecting our families, communities and thus the environment. Let’s take the first step, today!