Purchasing products made of recycled plastics is now more important than ever. When single-use and disposable plastics were first produced in the 1950s, it was only in small, manageable amounts. Today, nearly 300 million tons of plastic waste are produced globally every year. Unfortunately, the majority of those plastics are intended for single-use, resulting in around 60% of plastic ending up in landfills and natural environments such as the ocean.
Why is Plastic So Bad for the Environment?
The majority of plastics are made from chemicals created using oil, coal, and natural gas. When these fossil fuels are burned, they produce toxic pollutants and carbon emissions that get released into the atmosphere. Furthermore, after plastics have been produced and used, only around 9% gets recycled, while 12% is incinerated and 79% accumulates in landfills and natural environments.
Around 8 million tons of unrecycled plastics are carried by inland rivers to the ocean each year, which is extremely harmful to marine life and environments. Unfortunately, plastic waste is highly durable and resistant to degradation, whether in the ocean or on land. As nature is unable to break these plastics down, it just sits there, continuing to accumulate.
Over time, plastic particles get consumed by animals and fish that we then consume as humans. Plastic particles have also been found in tap water and can clog sewers, which results in sitting water that increases the risk of disease transmission.
Purchasing Recycled Products Can Help
Though the world is waking up to the issue of plastic waste, it is unlikely that all plastic production is going to stop. This is why it’s so important to look for products that are made using recycled plastics. Recycled plastic products keep plastics from ending up in landfills and instead use them to produce new products that can again be broken down and recycled after they are no longer needed.
The reason plastics are so popular and useful is because of their durability, which means they can be used over and over again instead of simply tossing them out. By recycling plastics properly and reusing them to create new products, we can significantly reduce the number of new plastics being made using fossil fuels, and it will reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfills and other natural environments.
The benefits of buying recycled plastic products include:
Reduced Oil Consumption
Plastics are manufactured using crude oil derivatives and natural gas, so the more plastics are created, the more we burn and use up nonrenewable fossil fuels. The amount of oil needed to produce just one plastic bottle is enough to fill a quarter of that bottle. However, by purchasing recycled plastic products, it reduces the need to create new plastics which can extend the lifespan of the world’s remaining fossil fuels.
Radical polymerization is a common technique used to create plastics. This process involves compressing reactants to around a thousand times the atmospheric pressure and then heating them to 100 degrees Celsius or more. Unfortunately, this technique consumes a high amount of energy, and energy consumption is a primary contributor to carbon emissions. Though creating products using recycled plastics does still require energy, it requires less than it would to create new plastics.
Due to the durability of plastics, it takes them hundreds of years to break down, giving them plenty of time to pollute wildlife and natural environments. The slow degradation of plastics is what makes them so useful for certain products, but when they are not recycled, they are extremely harmful to the environment. Lots of products can be made using recycled plastics, however. So the more recycled plastic products you purchase, the less waste will end up in landfills.
The Polly Products Difference
At Polly Products, we maintain the highest standards for ecological conservation in both our business practices and our product development. While the EPA only requires manufacturers to utilize 90% recycled content to state their products are recycled, our products are made of 100% recycled plastic. Furthermore, our products use zero formaldehyde, which can be found in other recycled plastic products, and we offer a 20-year warranty that beats out most competitors.
Located in rural Michigan, Polly Products comprises a team that shares humble values and believes in delivering quality products. We proudly supply environmentally responsible outdoor furniture, 100% made and assembled in the USA. Check out our website for more information about our products and how Polly Products is making a difference.