How to Beat Plastic Pollution – Guide to Recycle Plastic for Further Usage

According to GenFollower, around 8.3 billion metric tons (9.1 billion US tons) of plastic have been produced worldwide, and it is found that 9.1% of plastic waste is not recycled, and this is an alarming figure which is contaminating our natural environment. Although plastic is a very useful material that’s rigid, flexible and robust, they become waste right after their use, and they contaminate the environment.

plastic-bottle

In order to protect our environmental surroundings as well as to make the most of plastic material, recycling procedure is the best solution. Plastic is actually a common material that’s now frequently used by everyone on this planet. Plastic is used in several ways because it is compact and lightweight.

The continues maintenance required is little.

Typical plastic items that usually used are bottles, food packages, bags, and containers. When you buy grocery, food items or any other product from any store or shop, you’ll use plastic bags for carrying them.

Uses of Plastic

Plastics are commonly used in:

  • Construction industry
  • Packaging industry
  • Storage
  • Disposable cutlery, etc.

Where does the Problem Lie?

The big problem with plastic is its disposal.

Plastic is made of polymer-bonded substances and isn’t biodegradable which means plastic won’t break down when it is buried. When plastic is burnt, it discharges detrimental chemical substances in smoke. Most of these chemical substances in smoke have negative effects on our ecosystem. Therefore, the necessity of recycling arises.

Straight into Something New

Recycling means making new items out of waste material.

Almost all types of plastic materials can’t be reprocessed. If we recycle those that can be reprocessed, the earth will be saved to a certain degree. Plastic recycling requires the process of recovering discard plastic, and this particular waste is then reprocessed to make new materials that could be more advanced than their original state.

When compared with many other materials such as metal and glass, recycling of plastic is complex and expensive. It’s because of the high molecular body weight of the large polymer-bonded chains that make the plastic material.

Heating plastic does not melt the polymer-bonded chains, and therefore, a tiresome and complicated procedure is required. Several types of plastic-type material can’t be mixed since they recycle separately.

Benefits of Recycling

Recycling plastic has many positive aspects.

  • Use of non-renewable fuels is usually reduced by recycling as the production of new plastic materials requires more of these fuels.
  • Use of electrical power is also reduced because already prepared plastic material is reused.
  • Amount of plastic-type material that reaches the garbage dump sites are reduced. This may eradicate land pollution to some extent.
  • Carbon pollutants are reduced because manufacturing units discharge more carbon.

Inverse Polymerization Procedure

The most popular procedure that is used for polymers recycle is the inverse polymerization procedure in which the polymers in the plastic material are transformed into monomers that are used in the manufacturing process.

plastic-wastes

Recycling has unending benefits

Most of these chemical substances are then synthesized and purified to form new materials. Different polymers are usually transformed into oil in another process. The main advantage of this particular process is that any mixture of polymers can easily be used.

Steps Involved in Recycling

The standard steps which are involved in the particular recycling of plastic material are;

  • Step 1: Accumulating plastic waste from industries and households.
  • Step 2: Separating the plastic waste materials in different categories such as bags, containers, pet bottles, etc.
  • Step 3: The plastic is cut into small pieces.
  • Step 4: The small pieces are carefully cleaned for removing any unwanted particles or dirt contaminants on them.
  • Step 5: The cleaned pieces are dissolved and poured into storage containers for recycling.

In order to aid this process, plastics that have identification code should be identified with the different polymers that are usually used in the manufacturing of plastic. This process should be started at home. When you’ve used that plastic item, you can easily use the same item for something else entirely. For instance, if you purchase a fruit juice bottle, you can easily use the plastic bottle as a storage bottle for reusing the pet bottle.

Bioplastic – Understanding the Major Issues

Bioplastic is a widely used term now to distinct new ways of production, which should reduce the use of oil-based plastic.  Some scientists regard it as a solution to the plastic pollution problem, yet the issue is much more complex. First of all, this is an extremely broad term that includes various types of substances. Secondly, it is important to evaluate the cost and the actual influence on nature. This will help in figuring out whether it is more sustainable and environmentally-friendly.

If you are a student having an assignment for the environment-related subject, there are a few options. You can easily purchase essay on a given subject from professionals. Or, if you want to do everything on your own, let’s have a closer look at the term and what it means.

What is meant by Bioplastic

Bioplastic can refer to two kinds of things – the ones that are made of renewable bio ingredients instead of fossil fuel and to the materials that are biodegradable. Bio-based plastic is produced from alternative sources, such as corn starch, beet sugar, hemp, or even mango. There are several sources that can be used in such manufacture.

Biodegradable materials are ones that can be broken down by enzymes present in nature. It means that they can be manufactured from a renewable source, but still be not biodegradable and vice versa. It is hard to find a solution that will address both issues – production and recycling.

Alternative materials can solve one of the problems. They can either reduce the usage of fossil fuels or solve the recycling and degradability issues.

Biodegradable Doesn’t Mean Harmless

The next issue is that even if a thing can be degradable, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is not harmful to the environment. First of all, there are several kinds of degradability.

Degradable Items

Basically, any plastic is degradable, but in different circumstances. The traditional one can be degraded and recycled in an industrial environment. However, it cannot be reduced to the materials simply returning to nature.

Nowadays, some bioplastics are more degradable, but they still leave a microplastic residue that pollutes the environment. For example, there is oxo-degradable material dependent on oxygen influence. Yet, it still pollutes nature; that’s why the EU wants to ban it.

Biodegradable

It means that the item can be broken down into natural material, such as water, carbon dioxide, and compost by microorganisms. Yet, it requires specific conditions, mostly at a particular temperature.  If such material is simply thrown into the ocean, it will not be naturally eliminated.

bioplastics

Compostable

Such items degrade on compost site up to carbon dioxide, water, inorganic waste, and biomass. Biodegradable plastic can be produced from traditional petrochemicals (oil-based). At the same time, material produced from renewable sources can be as hard to break down as a traditional one.

Other Issues With Bioplastic Materials

There are several concerns that these new ways of manufacturing plastics raise. They show that there should be much more research and planning done before naming something an ultimate solution.

  • Bioplastic materials are not necessarily much better for the environment. The manufacturing process might affect the nature as well. For instance, the production of Polybutylene Succinate (PBS), a biodegradable substitute for propylene, results in a huge amount of greenhouse gases. Eventually, it is not much better for nature.
  • They are not cheap. Unfortunately, from a capitalistic point of view, there is no market demand for such innovations. They are much more costly for businesses. The main reason to introduce them into wide use is an environmental concern and governmental actions. Otherwise, huge corporations won’t be interested.
  • They are not easy to recycle or decompose. The majority of these materials cannot be recycled by the same plants that recycle oil-based formulas. If they get into the same plant, they are going to pollute and decrease the quality of the material. It means that there have to be new factories to recycle these particular elements.

Conclusion

Bioplastic is a broad term that refers to various options regarding sources and degradability. It attracts a lot of attention from scientists, researchers, and the general public as the environmental situation is declining.

Some of the professionals claim that it is the future that will have little to no impact on nature. However, in reality, the issue is more complex. It requires further research into extended effects, possible recycling, and affordability.

Nowadays, bioplastic has only 1% on the market. It grows steadily, but nothing like traditional manufacturing. The issue needs governmental measures taken in terms of funding research and banning harmful practices. As of now, it is a long journey to substitute all oil-based material with a greener option.