In Chapter 2 of the growing plastic problem, we briefly discuss the challenges faced by the recycling industry and its implications.
Only 18-19% of our plastic waste is being recycled. This means that from all of the plastic waste that we consume throughout our lifetime, only a very small proportion of it manages to see the recycling facilities. Everything else is unlawfully and unduly dumped into the oceans or landfills.
In this article, we discuss the stigma that surrounds recycling and the challenges that are faced in attaining our recycling goals. The most recycled item to date are plastic bottles and the most difficult item to recycle are plastic straws. In fact, the ZeLoop app, adds to this ease by providing a platform where you can earn ECOREWARDS by simply disposing of your plastic bottles rightly and playing a much bigger role in saving the environment than you think.
Sources: ASTM International; Association of plastic recyclers; Roland Geyer, University of California, Santa Barbara.
The percentages in this picture depict the ease with which each of these particular plastics can be recycled, with 1 being the easiest and 7 being the most difficult. Beverage bottles and shampoo bottles are very easy to recycle and all they require is proper disposal. According to these statistics, they make up 11% of the total plastic entourage, which means that quite a significant amount of difference can be made once each of these plastics is recycled. Plastic 7 which is commonly termed as “Other plastics” is the most difficult to recycle. This is because these plastics are made out of a variety of resins which is a material that has a strong intermolecular structure. Due to a certain composition of mixtures, it, unfortunately, becomes difficult to recycle just this category and they end up in landfills.
However, some of the items in this category can always be reused where possible.
In 2020, there is ample technology, industries, processes, and manpower to turn most of our waste into something more useful and complete its life cycle. So where does the challenge lie? Where exactly, do we as humans, fail to come through and create an impact? The challenge lies in how we perceive this problem and what we plan to do about it.
Plastics have never been the enemy. How we handle them after use, has been the real challenge altogether. Join forces with ZeLoop and help combat plastic littering.