menu

Five of the best ways to recycle our plastic waste

Over the last century, humans have produced a phenomenal amount of plastic goods due to its cheap production and versatile nature. Unfortunately, most of these plastic items have a short lifespan before they’re cast aside, polluting our atmosphere and land. As we’re well aware, plastic pollution is one of the biggest concerns for our planet right now.

As it stands, we’re currently dumping over eight million tons of plastic into the oceans each year, according to Plastic Oceans Foundation. But, what exactly can we do to halt this? Follow our guide below as we explore some of the best ways our plastic waste can be recycled to make useful products, helping to limit the damage to our planet.

Clothing


Perhaps unsurprisingly, we can buy items of clothing that were once part of a plastic bottle we’d have drank from. With the likes of polyester, nylon and other synthetic fibres forms of plastic, companies can use recycled plastic to help create their new garments. Did you know that it only takes approximately 10 bottles to create enough plastic fibre for a new t-shirt? As well as this, the insulation in a ski jacket can be created by just 14 recycled bottles. 

Decking


The UK is a nation of outdoor lovers — even if we don’t always get the weather that’ll help us best use our outdoor space! Studies have found that the average Brit spends over two hours a week in their garden space. Many take pride in their outdoor area and love to entertain guests throughout the year. To do so, they need a space that is suitable, and decking has seen a huge increase in popularity. Since first being released in 1990, composite decking boards have grown in popularity as they’re low maintenance, look like real wood, and have a long life span. These boards are made up of 95% recycled wood fibres and plastic, making them environmentally friendly as well as easy to upkeep.

Bed sheets


Great news! You can soon relax in the knowledge that you’re being environmentally sustainable while lying in bed! Ecozee, a company that is set to launch bed sheets made from recycled plastic, states it is going to help you ‘save the environment in your sleep’. With the average plastic having a ‘useful life’ of approximately 15 minutes, it’s clear to see that bed sheets made from recycled plastic will turn this into a much greater lifespan!

Home décor


It’s not just companies who can create great uses for old plastic. Users on social media channels are always sharing the DIY skills regarding old plastic material. Stand out examples include jewellery stands, themed plant pots, and pencil organisers — all created using the bottom of plastic bottles and milk bottles. Some much more extravagant examples by those with creative flair include hanging chandeliers and Christmas trees!

Transport


Moving away from home comforts, did you know that many forms of transport use recycled plastics in production? In 2018, vehicle manufacturer Volvo set itself a goal of using 25% recycled plastics in cars by 2025. This can range from fishing nets to old bottles and can be used in areas such as dashboards and carpets. Currently, the company states that approximately five per cent of plastics in its cars are made from recycled materials.

Elsewhere, in 2017, pilot and environmentalist Jeremy Rowsell made history by flying a light aircraft across Australia using conventional fuel that was mixed with fuel which derived from plastic waste. This journey, which saw him travel 500 miles from Sydney to Melbourne, saw the fuel used include a blend made up of 10% end-of-life plastic that was usually found in the ocean and landfill sites. It was a breakthrough in potential future fuels for light aircrafts.

Of course, there are many other ways plastic can be recycled. And, when you recycle materials, it uses far less energy than creating them new, so recycling has many benefits. While recycling is a major topic of discussion, we still have a large scope for improvements regarding the subject in order to help save our planet. It’s not just up to companies to use recyclable products either, so recycle today to reap the rewards tomorrow!

Make your goals green and more plastic-free for 2020

The plastic-waste crisis and its impact on climate change weighs heavily on our minds. If we keep using plastic at the current rate, there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans by 2050. Every day, approximately eight million pieces of plastic are discarded into the ocean, and microplastics have even been discovered embedded deep in arctic ice. Clearly, something must be done. Our casual plastic use is causing far more damage to marine life then it’s worth.
If your plastic-free plans aren’t already in motion, why not start this week? Living a plastic free life is one of the best and easiest methods of self-improvement you could opt for this year. Forget your optimistic gym membership and your severe diet plan, dropping plastic is an achievable and massively rewarding new year’s resolution that we should all try. Here are some small changes that will help you achieve your green goals in 2020.
1. Say no to plastic bags and straws
Luckily, these items are becoming less commonplace in the UK today. However, it can still be difficult to avoid them at times. When you pick up a takeaway for example, don’t be afraid to say no to the excess plastic bags your food is wrapped in. 
2.       Invest in a reusable coffee cup and water bottle
Takeaway coffee cups are a major source of waste material and plastic bottles take a shocking 450 years to decompose. With this in mind, it is more pressing than ever to make the switch to reusable items. KeepCups and Chilly’s Bottles are popular brands that focus on sustainable products.
3.       Only buy unpackaged fruit and veg
Many supermarkets are now making switch to packaging free products. If you have the option, choose to load up brown paper bags with fruit and vegetables rather than choosing pre-package food.  
4.       Get your hands on a bamboo toothbrush
Plastic toothbrushes take 400 years to decompose, and if you consider how many you go through in a lifetime, the life span of them all is shocking. A bamboo toothbrush on the other hand, only takes five to ten years — minimal in comparison!
5.       Find a refill station for your laundry detergent and washing up liquid
Instead of chucking out the plastic bottle when your washing up liquid runs out, hold on to it and get it refilled! Lots of sustainable shops now offer this service, making it easier than ever to opt for refills rather than wasting more plastic.
6.       Switch to soap and shampoo bars rather than bottles
Shampoo and hand soap always seem to come with excess plastic packaging. There is simply no need to coat these items in plastic, as they work perfectly well in bar form. This is another tiny switch that will make little difference to your daily routine but really help out the environment. 
7.       Shop at ‘zero waste’ shops
Thankfully, zero waste shops are becoming far more common in the UK. The idea of zero waste shops is that they sell produce with absolutely no plastic packaging. Switching up your shopping routine and choosing a zero-waste shop would be a great habit to get into in 2020. You can find a list of zero waste shops and where to find them here.
8.       Switch to beeswax wrap rather than clingfilm
Sustainable food storage is another factor that people often forget to consider. We throw away single use clingfilm without a second thought, because it seems like such a necessity within our lives. Now however, there are plenty of alternatives to use if you want to go plastic free. Beeswrap, for example, is a ‘natural alternative to plastic wrap’ which can be used time and time again.
9.       Up your sustainable Tupperware game
Along the same theme, consider switching to sustainable Tupperware. There are plenty of alternatives to wasteful plastic Tupperware, such as bamboo, glass, or stainless-steel alternatives. Oxfam do a great range!
10.   Cut down on shopping and spending
This last one is essential, although perhaps not as easy as the other lifestyle changes. Every time you buy something, especially online, it is likely to come swaddled in needless layers of plastic. If you cut down on this spending, you could make a real environmental change.
These changes will be easy to get used to once you’ve made an active effort to change your routine. They will soon become second nature! If everyone chips in and makes an effort towards sustainability, we will see a reduced amount of plastic pollution our oceans.
 
Article provided by Where The Trade Buys, a UK provider of square business card printing, with bases in London, Sunderland and Surrey.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...