Recycling Plastic Is Fantastic
Recycle, reduce and reuse are fast becoming watchwords of the 21st Century, as well they might given that we live in a world of finite resources.
A reusing and ‘making do’ ethos has been around for a long time but it has taken approximately 30 years for recycling to become the ‘norm’ and for society to embrace it in the highly positive manner seen today. According to WRAP 95% of all material put out for recycling was successfully recycled last year. Recycling is crucial for the future of our planet because it:
• conserves our precious fossil fuels (such as oil)
• reduces energy consumption
• reduces the amount of waste going to landfill
• cuts the emission of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide
A material like plastic has a short lifespan but can be recycled many times over thus reducing the need to use precious oil to create new plastic. Around one million tonnes of plastic, that’s about 45 billion items, are disposed of every year in the UK which represents at least 9% of household waste by weight¹. We are still only recycling approximately 24% of all plastics and lagging behind our European counterparts where in Germany, for example, 44%² of all plastics are recycled! Plastic takes over 400 years to break down in landfill but recycling just one plastic bottle saves enough energy to power a 60W light bulb for six hours! Do you ever wonder what happens to the 15million plastic bottles that we use every day and how your box full of the week’s detritus can help save our planet?
It’s a simple process……..plastic waste from your area is taken to a materials recovery facility where bottles are separated from other waste then cleaned and sorted by plastic type and colour, after which they are shredded, melted and moulded into plastic pellets which are purchased by companies and used to make ‘new’ products. One such company helping to return recycled products to the market place is EcoForce, a range of every day, household products such as scourers, sponges, cloths, dusters, food bag grips, clothes pegs, peg baskets and clothes lines all of which are made from at least 90% recycled materials. These products perform as well, if not better, than alternatives made from virgin plastic helping you run a greener home without it costing the earth.
Recycled plastic can also be used to make plastic bottles, fleeces, fencing and garden furniture, filling for duvets and so on. It is used in the construction industry, the automotive industry, in landscaping, street furniture and in textiles. There are approximately 1,000 plastic milk bottles in a recycled park bench!
Even the humble plastic bag, for many the symbol of a throw-away society, has been targeted as a wasteful resource. If your council does not currently recycle plastic bags there are plenty of shops and supermarkets who do so check next time you’re out and about. Supermarkets and shops have made a concerted effort to reduce plastic bag usage from 17.5billion in 2003 to around 4.5 billion per year now. You can do your bit by not using plastic bags at all! Take a rucksack, canvas bag or bag for life next time you go shopping and do away with plastic bags altogether.
Ditch the tumble drier and peg your washing out to dry instead – using a dryer costs more than £70 a year and generates some 1.5kg of carbon dioxide with every load. Ensure you spring clean with recycled cloths, dusters and scourers – there is little point purchasing products made from virgin materials when recycled ones do the job just as well and don’t harm the environment.
EcoForce was first launched in the UK in 2008 and is performing strongly through UK supermarkets. As awareness of recycling grows, so too does the market for effective recycled goods that work. EcoForce is dedicated to bringing a range of affordable, usable, everyday items manufactured from recycled materials to the general public that are greener, more sustainable and more environmentally-friendly than alternatives made from virgin materials.
² British Plastic Federation