Every day of our lives, we use plastic. We use plastics at home, at work, shopping, etc. The problem is most of the plastics such as HDPE have only a short life cycle. Nowadays, there are many environmental concerns regarding the use of plastics. This is because the disposal of plastic waste becomes a problem rather than a resource. Overall, the world produced a large number of plastic since the year 2000. Most of it is food packaging, shopping bags, plastic bottles, table utensil, and others. Plastic is a hard substance that is why disposing it has become a nightmare. Fortunately, there are already companies and organizations that are working to find and invent new technologies that find ways to use plastic waste. There is also an environmental group that encourages people to reduce the use of plastic. There are global campaigns that aim to end the use of plastic as well. Here are three ways you can do with your plastic waste:
There are many plastics that can be recycled. There are plenty of plastic materials that can be given a second life. Some areas have a problem with this because there is difficulty in the collection and sorting of plastic waste. There are countries that have poor management in waste facilities, which results in plastic waste and other garbage to be thrown into rivers, oceans, and other areas. Recycling is the most effective way to handle the plastic waste. However, for it to be effective, the public should be made aware of this. Also, the government should put recycling depot and put on more specialized waste collecting trucks. You may think recycling doesn’t make a difference, but in reality, it has helped the environment significantly. The recycling process begins with sorting. Plastic items are sorted out based on their content and color. This is to make sure that there is no contamination. Most recycling depot use machines to help in sorting out the plastics. After sorting, plastics are then shredded. Plastic containers and plastic bottles are cut into tiny pieces using a plastic shredder. There are shredding machines that separate the heavy plastic cut-outs from lighter ones. Note that different plastics are used to produce various products. Heavy-duty industrial shredder is often used for high volume plastic shredding. If you have lost of plastic waste in your home in the forms of plastic containers, plastic bottles, plastic bags, plastic food packaging, etc., you can have it collected or bring it to plastic processing plants. There are also people or centers that have made the plastic collection as their business. So maybe you can find one in your area and sell out your plastic items.
Many developing nations have already started making buildings using plastic waste. This is commonly known as eco-bricks or bottle bricks. Plastic bottles are filled with mud, construction debris, sand, and even plastic bags. It is used in the same an ordinary brick is used. Using plastic bottles as bricks cost lesser than standard bricks. Ecobricks are not brittle; thus, if there are abrupt shock loads, there wouldn’t be a problem. It is very solid so that it can be used in simple construction or furniture making. This process is suitable for places with no proper waste management. But it applies to all. During construction, the plastic bottles can be covered with other materials. There are also houses designs where some or all bottles are exposed as part of the design feature. Some also fitted LED lights to bottles to make a lighted wall. This manner has become socially acceptable. In fact, many engineers and environmentalists all over the world are researching ways and methods to further developed and improve the utilization of plastics in construction and infrastructure projects.
Turning Plastic back to Fuel
Plastic to fuel projects has been gaining awareness, especially from the energy industry. This project aims to use the chemical energy stored in plastic materials to produce fuel. Although this method is still in the developmental stage, it has received praise because of the economic and environmental benefits it can give. One advantage of this project is that the fuel derived from plastic is capable of providing a cleaner-burning fuel compared to traditional fuel resources. Recently, there are researchers who discovered a way of converting plastic waste into hydrogen fuel. This fuel can be used to power transportation in the future. The method of turning plastics to fuel is known to be cheaper compared to other recycling projects because there is no need to clean the plastics. The good thing about this process is it can use all sorts of plastic waste. This method is still under study but looks promising for many.
Saving the environment is essential, and any sort of effort matters. Improper disposal of plastic will cause harm not only to the environment but to human health as well. Since plastics cover a tremendous amount of waste, it is imperative to find ways on how to dispose it properly. Plastic waste will take centuries for them to break down into the landfills or oceans. The ways to re-use plastics must be taken seriously. Finding ways to repurpose plastic is way better than dumping them. Projects that aim to reduce plastic waste will improve the economy in the long run. It is also a great source of encouragement that will enhance the standard of living for people and other living creatures on earth.