Plastic Waste Isn’t Waste at all, It’s a Resource
It was hard not to be moved by the scenes of plastic waste choking oceans and wildlife in the recent TV series Blue Planet II. We literally cannot go on like this. We all need to take more care of how we handle plastic waste. As a society we’ve become too used to seeing all forms of plastic packaging as something disposable rather than a resource.
Aside from the harm being done to the oceans too much plastic waste still ends up in landfill. This plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose.
Yes, Recycling that Bottle Will Make a Difference
If you don’t think that it will make any difference recycling that plastic bottle in your hand, consider this: it takes 75% less energy to make a plastic bottle from recycled plastic than to make one from raw materials.
The energy saved from recycling just one plastic bottle would power a 60 watt bulb for 3 hours! In the UK, at least half of that energy will be generated by burning fossil fuels – adding to greenhouse gas emissions. Recycling 1 tonne of plastic bottles will save 1.5 tonnes of carbon emissions being sent into the atmosphere.
A Colossal Opportunity
How big is the opportunity? Well, the average household in the UK uses 480 plastic bottles each year. 44% of these are sent to landfill. That adds up to more a mind boggling 5.5 billion plus bottles every year that could be recycled.
From the total of 1.2 million tonnes of plastic packaging used each year, it is reported that 440,401 tonnes is collected for recycling (that’s just 37%). We could make such a difference just by changing our habits in simple ways.
At our on-site sorting plant, we take great care to sort the waste we receive and separate everything that could be reused or recycled. We recycle as much as we can through our transfer station.
The benefits of recycling plastic waste are diluted if that waste has to travel many miles to be collected, sorted or recycled. As a local waste management company we minimise the ‘recycling miles’ in the waste we process and make every effort to re-process as close to Wellington as possible.
If you’re a contractor, or a private individual doing a DIY project or having a clear out, think about using a local waste management company with a responsible commitment to recycling.