Plastic water bottles are becoming a growing segment of the municipal solid waste stream in the United States. The American Chemistry Council estimates that the average consumer uses 166 plastic water bottles each year and that 2. 5 million plastic bottles are thrown away every hour. While plastic water bottles offer convenience, they also create unnecessary waste in landfills. By recycling your plastic water bottles, you can positively impact the environment in several ways. Landfill space is limited, and the conditions in landfills make it nearly impossible for anything, including plastic, to biodegrade. Recycling plastic water bottles helps to conserve space that can be used for other waste. According to Earth911, 7. 4 cubic yards of landfill space is saved for every ton of plastic that is recycled. Recycling can also help reduce the number of plastic water bottles that end up as litter in roadways and water sources. Recycling plastic water bottles helps to conserve natural resources, specifically oil, which is a nonrenewable natural resource available only in limited supply. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that recycling one ton of plastic conserves approximately 3. 8 barrels of crude oil. In 2008, 2. 12 millions of plastic were recovered for recycling, the equivalent of roughly 7. 6 million barrels of oil.
Creating new materials from existing materials uses significantly less energy than using raw materials. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, recycling one pound of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the plastic most commonly used in water bottles, conserves approximately 12,000 BTUs (British thermal units) of heat energy. The recycling process uses up to two-thirds less energy than traditional manufacturing, significantly reducing the strain on the traditional power grid, which is based on the burning of fossil fuels. The plastic manufacturing process results in the creation of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, which is thought to contribute significantly to the global warming effect. Since the process for recycling plastic water bottles requires less energy and fossil fuels, it also results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average family can reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by up to 340 pounds annually simply be recycling their plastic waste. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, recycling plastic water bottles also helps to decrease the amount of pollution in the air and water sources.
Many landfill facilities will incinerate plastic bottles to save waste, which can emit toxic pollutants or irritants into the air. The plastic resin used to make water bottles also contains potentially harmful chemicals which can seep into the soil or groundwater if they are able to break down in the landfill.
Why is Recycling Plastic Important? Plastics are a versatile material that can be a valuable asset to your corporate Green recycling program. Your business can greatly reduce destructive waste output and cut costs associated with waste management fees through a Green recycling program with Complete Recycling. Because, you can zero in on the benefits that result from the many markets that Complete Recycling is able to sell your materials to. Plastics are often recycled to make items such as clothes, carpet, containers, bottles, plastic lumber, films, grocery bags, molding materials, and lawn and garden products, to name a few. Plastic by the Numbers: Plastic Recycling Facts How much of our solid waste is plastic? The Environmental Protection Agency reports plastic made up 12% of the 254 million tons of waste generated in 2007. That s more than 30 million tons of plastic in one year. Some reports state plastic materials can take hundreds of years to break down in a landfill.
When you take part in our, you join a network of Green-minded people and companies who recycle millions of tons of plastics across the United States annually. And, for every 1 ton of plastic that s recycled, reports estimate that 7 yards of landfill space is saved. By recycling, you can also help conserve the additional 80% of energy that s typically used when making new plastic bottles, containers and other items instead of recycling. It s easy to see why recycling plastic is so important. Baled plastics, specifically plastic bottles, have a high scrap value per ton. In fact, the only other recyclable that s more lucrative is aluminum cans. Complete Recycling partners with you to ensure your business gets the most value out of your plastic recyclables. We do this through education on how to sort different resins and through our equipment leasing programs. Other Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste Output Companies just like yours are trying to promote a neutral carbon footprint through an alliance with Complete Recycling for plastic recovery. But many of our clients also want to know how they can take it a step further out of the workplace. One way, of course, is to recycle at home.
And as a consumer, purchasing post-consumer products made with recycled plastic helps, too. But unfortunately, when it comes to post-consumer products made with plastic, the industry must try to match costs with that of virgin plastics. And that s not always easy. There are additional ways the country as a whole can make sure plastics don t end up in our landfills. Since, they have significant BTU value. BTU, or British thermal unit, is a unit of energy. One statistic reports plastics BTU value is higher than coal. That means some recycled plastics can recover energy. There are roughly 87 waste-to-energy plants in the United States. One statistic shows these plants can make enough electricity to power more than a million structures. California and Nevada, two states Complete Recycling serves, both define waste-to-energy programs as a Green, renewable energy plan. One other way plastic can be made into energy is through pyrolisis. This technology processes plastics in a way that allows them to decompose to fuel but some say it s currently not an efficient process. Take advantage of the benefits of a corporate Green plastic recycling program: Contact Complete Recycling today. What happens to plastics once they leave your facility? Learn more about the.