Why Recycle Plastics?
One good reason to recycle plastic is that there is just so much of it.
Plastics are used to manufacture an incredible number of products we use every day, such as beverage and food containers, trash bags and grocery bags, cups and utensils, children's toys and diapers, and bottles for everything from mouthwash and shampoo to glass cleaner and dishwashing liquid. And that's not even counting all the plastic that goes into furniture, appliances, computers, and automobiles.
The Need Is Growing
As the use of plastics has increased over the years, they have become a larger part of our nation's municipal solid waste (MSW)—growing from less than 1 percent in 1960 to more than 13 percent in 2013, according to a report by the Environmental Protection Agency.
As an example of how and why plastic waste is increasing, the International Bottled Water Association reports that the U.S. consumed 9.67 billion gallons of bottled water in 2012, compared to 9.1 billion gallons the year before. The United States is the world's leading consumer of bottled water. A good first step in reducing waste is switching to a reusable water bottle.
Natural Resources and Energy Conservation
Recycling plastics reduces the amount of energy and resources (such as water, petroleum, natural gas, and coal) needed to create plastic. According to a 2009 study by researchers Peter Gleick and Heather Cooley from the Pacific Institute of California, a pint-sized bottle of water requires about 2,000 times as much energy to produce as the same amount of tap water.
Recycling Plastics Saves Landfill Space
Recycling plastic products also keeps them out of landfills and allows the plastics to be reused in manufacturing new products. Recycling 1 ton of plastic saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space. And let's face it, a lot of plastic ends up directly in the environment, breaking down into tiny pieces, polluting our soil and water, and contributing to the ocean's Great Garbage Patches. Read More..
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