At Polly Products, a big part of our job is to care about plastic recycling. Many of our employees work here because they are invested in making a positive environmental impact with their work.
However, we don’t just care because of work. We also find the world of plastic recycling to be pretty fascinating! Every day, recycling engineers test and create new innovations to help reduce our planet’s over-abundance of plastics which result in plastic waste.
Here are some of the most important things you should know about plastics and plastic recycling in the world today.
How Much Plastic Exists on Earth?
- According to the MacArthur Foundation, the weight of plastic in the ocean will outweigh fish by 2050.
- A Reuters report reveals that every minute, a million plastic water bottles are purchased. That’s every minute of every day!
- During ocean clean-ups, water bottles are the third most common type of item recovered.
- There are approximately 3 billion tons of plastic on the planet, and 6.3 billion tons of that is trash. This is an almost unthinkable amount of plastic waste!
What Happens to Plastic in Landfills?
- It will take a plastic bottle about 450 years to fully degrade in a landfill.
- Plastic bags that are made of Polyethylene Resin Code #2 or #4 can potentially last between 500 and 1000 years in a landfill.
- The EPA released data that 75.6% of the plastic material generated in the US ended up in landfills.
Innovations in Plastic Recycling
The stats above are pretty troubling!
We have a plastic waste problem in the world, especially in the United States, and we have to work together to address it. Plastic recycling requires the efforts of governments, non-profit organizations, industry leaders, businesses, and individual consumers.
One of the things we’re excited about at Polly Products is the fact that so many people are working together to reduce the amount of plastic in landfills.
Here are some of the ways that we’re seeing this happen!
- It takes 88% less energy to recycle plastic than to produce new plastic materials. That’s just one of the reasons why manufacturers are starting to look into using recycled materials instead of new ones.
- Community recycling programs are growing in popularity and availability. 60% of Americans had access to a community recycling program by 2016, and we would love to see that number grow to 100%.
- Engineers are constantly working on the challenges of recycling plastics and other materials. New technologies include plastic designed for easier recycling, using the internet to streamline recycling routes, and using RFID technology to improve recycling programs.
- Organizations like The Ocean Cleanup are creating new ways to clean up the oceans and pull plastic and other trash from the water.
How We’re Doing Our Part
At Polly Products, we are doing our part, too.
Our beautifully designed benches and public outdoor furnishings are not just aesthetically pleasing and durable. They’re also good for the environment! The plastic we use to make our tables and benches is 100% recycled, which means we’re keeping that plastic out of landfills.
We also run our business in an environmentally conscious manner. We light our building with LED lights that operate with motion detectors to reduce our electricity consumption. We installed water coolers throughout the building and provided everyone on our team with a water bottle so that we can reduce our personal plastic use. We collect and compost our food waste, provide real kitchenware for our employees to use, and use only compostable paper products.
We also encourage our employees to bring their recycling to work to recycle here in our mini materials recovery facility!
We are proud to be a part of the solution when it comes to eliminating plastic waste in our world. We hope you will join us!