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How much plastic waste is recycled? The answer is beyond people's imagination
Time: 2020-3-21 14:57:55 Source:绿凯思科GETRECYCLING Author:GET营销中心 Hits:31

According to the statistics of the US Environmental Protection Agency, 35.4 million tons of plastic were made in the US in 2017. If people want to reduce plastic pollution, recycling may be an easy solution. But what happens when you clean these plastic containers and pour them into the recycling bin?

 

On March 12, Beijing time, according to foreign media reports, waste recycling does not always give new life to plastic products, on the contrary, people are gradually being overwhelmed by plastic.

 

According to statistics from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 35.4 million tons of plastic were made in the U.S. in 2017. If people want to reduce plastic pollution, recycling may be an easy solution. But what happens when you clean these plastic containers and pour them into the recycling bin?

 

Unfortunately, the end result of plastic recycling is not as simple as many people think, John hosewar, a marine biologist at Greenpeace According to Hocevar), recycling is unlikely to give new life to plastic products. In fact, only 8.4% of plastic waste is recycled in the end. It is not that consumers do not take the initiative to recycle or they do not use recycling measures, but that there is no matching infrastructure for plastic recycling in the United States.

 

"In most parts of the United States, a lot of plastic waste is not recyclable," hoshawar said A recent Greenpeace report surveyed 367 plastic waste recycling facilities in the United States and found that only plastic bottles are recycled regularly, and many plastic packages are usually buried or burned.

 

It should be noted that not all plastic products are the same. If you look at the bottom of transparent plastic bottles (such as plastic bottles for food and washing powder), you will notice that there is a number in a triangle recycling symbol. If the number is "1", it means that plastic envy is made of a material called polyethylene terephthalate (PET); some are impermeable A clear plastic bottle (for example, a plastic bottle for milk). The number in the triangle is "2", which means made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE). In the waste recycling plant, plastic waste is classified according to the marked numbers (7 numbers in total), which indicate the recyclability of plastic.

 

Kara pochiro, director of the plastic recycling Institute, said that plastic products 1 and 2 can be recycled. The plastic waste is chopped, melted into balls, and then sold to manufacturers for reprocessing. The recycled plastic can be used to make carpets, clothes, plastic packaging and other products.

 

He also pointed out that the more complex it is to recycle plastic products with higher digital level. According to the statistics of Greenpeace, this kind of plastic waste accounts for 69% of our daily use of plastic. It costs more and consumes more energy to dispose of them than to dispose of No. 1 and No. 2 plastic products. In the past few years, many recycling agencies in the United States have sold plastic mixed waste to Asian countries, but two years ago, these countries banned the import of foreign plastic waste.

 

For this reason, garbage collection agencies have to adopt new garbage disposal channels, but most of the attempts fail. For example, the Los Angeles garbage disposal center still can't handle plastic garbage with a grade of more than 2. In 2019, the Guardian reported that some garbage recycling agencies are dumping the garbage into landfills or incinerators.

 

Boccio pointed out that what the United States needs now is an infrastructure for processing other types of plastics. But hoshawar envisions a different solution: the really simple answer is that we have to stop making so many disposable plastics. In other words, does plastic recycling make sense? For No.1 or No.2 plastic bottles, the answer is "yes", but more and more plastic products with No.5 label are recycled. It is a kind of flexible plastic, including yoghurt boxes. It is very important to check the restrictions and regulations of local recycling system for other grades of plastic products.

 

Hosewar's answer is simpler: for plastic 3, 4 and 5, the cost of recovery is higher, and the advantages are usually greater than the disadvantages.

 

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