Plastics are very inexpensive, and they are manufactured in large quantities. Around 3.6 million tonnes of plastics were used in Australia between 2016-17. However, it produces a lot of waste. Plastics are the majority of waste that is found in landfills. When the plastic is burnt, it releases very toxic gas. It harms the environment to a large extent. The only way one can deal with the problems caused by plastics is by reducing their usage.
It is said that almost every kind of plastic is fully recyclable. However, every product should be recycled differently. This should be kept in mind before trying to recycle any sort of plastic or product.
Recycling soft plastic
Soft plastics are always getting caught up in the recycling belt. Sometimes those products are thrown out along with the general waste. Since most of the soft plastic products are put in general bins, it ends up in landfills. This makes it even worse for the environment.
Since it is one of the top contaminators in the recycling belt, soft plastic bins have been of great help. Instead of dumping all the products in the bin and them ending up in a landfill, soft plastic bins are useful to segregate those products.
With the help of those bins, soft plastics can be recycled easily and be given a new life to the same. Completely new products will be able to be made through those waste materials. There are a lot of waste products that can be thrown in soft plastic bins. It ranges from biscuit packets, confectionary bags, frozen food bags to polypropylene bags.
Some of the countries do not have a lot of facilities for such segregation of soft plastics. If this is the case, one can reuse soft plastic in numerous other ways. Although there are techniques to recycle soft plastics, it can be a bit tedious task.
The soft plastic can be recycled physically. This changes into other plastic products that can last for very long. Those remade products are disposable as such. They are mainly outdoor or road plastic products. Chemical recycling, on the other hand, turns soft plastic into oil. Those oils are generally made for fuel.
Here are some creative ways to recycle soft plastic
Soft plastic mainly refers to the plastic wrapper, grocery bags, etc. Since this is found in every household, anyone can easily recycle and reuse it as well. There are numerous creative ways that an individual can reuse and recycle soft plastic.
Instead of throwing out the plastic bags, the individual can wrap breakable items in them. This can be done especially while moving out or travelling somewhere. Fragile items will be kept safe if it is packed in plastic bags. This will avoid the usage of styrofoam and lead to less waste.
Paint rollers and brushes
Instead of rinsing the paintbrushes or rollers, it is better to wrap them with grocery plastic bags. Putting them in the refrigerator after that can help them dry out. Plastic bags will be able to dry out the paint, and the same can be done numerous times by flipping it.
Another creative way of recycling soft plastic is by turning them into plastic yarns. By cutting the bag from top to bottom will create loops. Making a knot in the loops will create a long strand. Rolling that into a ball will then be useful as a plant hanger, rug and many more.
Separate recycling bins
Putting up different bins at home can also be very helpful. Recyclable items, mostly soft plastic, can be thrown in a different bin. This will be easier to segregate the products. Finding items that are reusable and recyclable will also be very easy.
Liner paint trays and trash bins
It is very easy to line the paint with a plastic bag. After painting, the bag can be removed without any effort as such. The plastic grocery bags can also line tiny trash bins. If a garbage bag is needed at any time, used plastic bags can be lined instead.
This is a simple yet creative way of recycling soft plastic. Usage of plastic ziplocks can be avoided. A few layers of parchment paper can be fused along with the ironed plastic bag. Sewing the sheet to a plastic bag and attaching velcro will make a creative yet environment-friendly sandwich wrap.
Benefits of recycling soft plastic
The amount of waste found in landfills and other places can be reduced immensely with the help of recycling. Soft plastic is mainly grocery bags, food packets, and the like. Recycling such everyday items can make the environment cleaner and conserve natural resources as well.
Fewer waste products
Plastic is not biodegradable. It remains in the land unless it is burnt. Burning it is yet another problem. Hence, being able to recycle plastic immensely creates less waste both on land and water. Apart from landfills, oceans get contaminated as well due to the waste, especially plastics.
Reusing plastic or recycling them into completely new products creates less waste. By reusing the plastic, the usage and purchase of more plastic also decrease to a large extent.
With that in mind, factories also start producing less. Less production of plastic directly translates to lesser waste. This immensely lowers the amount of waste in landfills and oceans, helping both the living beings and the environment.
Making new products require various resources. These resources are raw materials most of the time. Excessive usage of raw materials and natural resources also leads to depletion of the same. Since the earth is filled with natural resources, using all of its energy and materials leads to more damage.
Making products that harm the earth and the environment in some way is of no use. Hence, reusing the same products and recycling them leads to conservation of energy and raw materials.
Products that harm the earth should be used and made less frequently. Using the same plastic in different ways will be able to conserve the energy and materials required to make those products in the first place.
Prevents Global warming
As mentioned above, burning the plastic releases toxic gas. This is very harmful to the environment and affects the air we breathe in. Moreover, it leads to more air pollution. The atmosphere being overly polluted will not be able to protect the earth from the harmful rays of the sun. This, in turn, will negatively affect the earth.
Global warming is mainly due to excessive pollution in the air. It leads to climate change and much worse conditions. Hence, reusing and recycling plastics can avoid air pollution to a large extent.
Plastics made in factories also emit a lot of smoke and harms the environment. It affects not only the air but also land and water. The factories producing tons of plastic creates waste on landfills by dumping unwanted materials. The same is done even in water bodies.
Trees are cut down to build factories that produce nothing but non-biodegradable items. More smoke and fewer trees harm the atmosphere and lead to global warming. Recycling is a must, and avoiding the purchase of such products also help a lot.
As mentioned earlier, recycling leads to lesser consumption and purchases of products. This leads to saving a lot of money. Finding creative ways to reuse and recycle soft plastic will prevent people from buying other unnecessary items as well. Moreover, the production cost is much higher than the cost of using recycled products.
To stop the mass production of things that are harmful to the environment, using recycled products will help the same immensely.
Many countries have come up with soft plastic recycling services. Since 98 per cent of those can be reused and recycled, those services help in making completely new products. It also helps in avoiding accumulated waste in landfills. However, in places wherein such facilities aren’t available, being aware and taking steps to recycle will also help immensely.
There are many ways to recycle and reuse soft plastic, and being able to do so helps the environment to a large extent. It saves energy, helps in preventing global warming, and most importantly produces less waste. This is not only beneficial to the environment but also all living beings. Producing less plastic and investing in eco-friendly tasks is a big step towards protecting the environment.
Check out this informative article to know about soft plastic recycling and its benefits. Also, explore some interesting ways that are sure to help the environment.