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How the world is reusing its Plastic Pollution

How the world is reusing its Plastic Pollution

At this point, it is important for us to realise that plastic pollution is a growing global menace, and it should be addressed. The global volume of mismanaged plastic is expected to quadruple by the year 2030, in comparison to 2020.  

We have many numbers of NGOs & innovators developing digital solutions for this unprecedented challenge. There are a lot of individuals driving change towards whole thought process of why we need to Recycle-Reduce-Reuse. This includes prominent entities, idols, and influencers alike. 

More than half the world is busy trying to find solutions for the existing pile of rubbish. What we need are more production environments to lean towards simplifying and standardising their products. Eventually, all the plastic products we produce should be easier to recycle and reduce. This means bringing changes in specific to design and manufacturing phase. 

 

The 21st century has achieved several milestones on production, recycling, and reusing plastics. Yet there are noteworthy mentions that have made or have conceptualised change that is simply revolutionary. Let us look at a few of these. 

 

  • ByBlock by ByFusion (Los Angeles)

    This company has developed a machine that turns single-use plastics into “ByBlock.” ByBlocks are similar in size and shape to the concrete blocks we use during construction. ByBlocks are made entirely of reclaimed plastic waste and is moulded with the dimensions of a hollow cement block.

    The company has taken it a step further as they become carbon neutral themselves. As per the team, their systems, and manufacturing process is all electric. The company is selling both its blocker system and blocks. They are set to empower communities worldwide with the ability to build their own blocks to use in local building projects.
     

  • Olefy by VTT Research Center (Finland)

    As per Matti Nieminen, the Head of Technology for Olefy and the principal scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre, Olefy is a chemical recycling process which produces olefins, benzene, toluene, xylene and other recycled hydrocarbons. All these products are either virgin grade or close and can be used even for the most demanding application. As per VTT, the technology and the product has been under development for more than 40 years.

    “One of the problems with current recycling methods is that the quality degrades every time plastic is recycled. After several rounds of mechanical recycling, the quality becomes too poor, and the plastic is no longer usable and goes to a landfill. With the Olefy recycling process, the quality of the plastic is equal to virgin grade, so it can be recycled indefinitely, and materials no longer need to end up in landfills.”, says Nieminen
     

  • Thaely by Ashay Bhave (Mumbai)

    Ashay Bhave presented the idea of shoes made of plastic and rubber during the Amity University’s EUREKA start-up competition in 2019. Thus, the brand named ‘Thaely’ meaning ‘plastic carry bags’ in Hindi started in July 2021. Thaely buys raw materials from waste management companies and turns them into their fabric, ThaelyTex with the help of their manufacturing process.

    Till date, Ashay has recycled over 50,000 plastic bags and 35,000 plastic bottles to produce Thaely Sustainable Sneakers. An even memorable milestone for the youngster followed as Swiss International School Dubai offered his shoes as part of their uniform. The school was impressed by Ashay’s achievement and wanted to inspire their students with his story.
     

  • PlastikGas (Texas)

    PlastikGas is a very peculiar company born out of necessity. They have developed a way to recycle plastic waste into usable fuel. They turn plastic into 6 high-grade, high-quality fuels and with a minimal environmental impact. The facility functions without the need of water and produces no methane emissions.

    The company has licensed their technology and will be aiding anyone who wishes to open a plant for themselves. Their engineering team will not only help you build, but they also provide 12 months of operational support. We can process anywhere from 7 tons to 75 tonnes of plastic per batch based on the size of the plant.
     

  • Bungkus (Malaysia)

    A group of artists, designers and recyclers came together to convert soft plastic waste into sustainable lifestyle pieces. They are solving Malaysia’s plastic bag problem into wearable statement pieces such as tote bags, carriers and more. Bungkus has told that they need up to 6 hours for a one-of-a-kind item to be crafted in a sustainable way.

    Bungkus spokesperson Chua Ken Jin tells us that they are currently focused on reducing Malaysia’s plastic waste. They expect to expand to other neighbouring countries such as Indonesia and Thailand soon. Bungkus is driven by the thought of inspiring change in the way people think and act about plastic wastes produced in the hyper-consumer market. 

 

These are just a handful of individuals driving the change to sustainability and circular recycling. We can look forward to more companies that are willing to drive change. In the recent times, even giants like Coca-Cola and Johnny Walker have decided to make a shift towards sustainable packaging materials. It has become clear that Ineffective Waste Management Systems should be avoided for the future, particularly that of marine lives. 

 

We normally tend to think that we need an action plan to set things right and nothing less than that will be enough. In reality, all we need are minute changes backed by a solid will to enforce them in our everyday life. Revamping your house to a zero-waste environment is something that takes a lot of time and effort.

 

The Change

Starting off with minimising the usage of plastic in your house is easier and more effective. Follow it up with shifting to reusable containers in your kitchen. Then comes the transition of your power source to renewable energy like solar or wind.  

 

It is true that having a zero-waste economy is a long-term goal and it requires a group effort to make it a reality. At the end of the day, human beings may be consumers, yet we hold the power to choose what we consume.  

Types of plastic to Recycle

Types of plastic to Recycle

The planet is now dominated by plastic. Whether you’re buying fruit or cleaning products, it has become inevitable in grocery shops. In your house, from your phone case to your cosmetic items, you may also find them everywhere. Plastic is unfortunately one of the major sources of garbage since it is so ubiquitous: A landfill can take up to 100 years to break down 91% of plastic, which means it goes there directly.

Types of plastic to recycle

Don’t punish yourself if you purchase anything that is wrapped in or made of plastic when there are several alternatives to use less plastic. Since it is used so regularly, it is really difficult to entirely stop using it.

So, learning how to use less plastic is one of the finest things you can do. Additionally, start paying more attention to the type of plastic an item is made of when you do decide to buy anything.

We have listed six varieties of plastic and all the information you need to know about each one, including how to properly recycle or properly dispose of a specific item. Moreover, how to prevent using particular plastics.

Polyethylene Terephthalate

Many sodas and water bottles include Polyethylene Terephthalate as their body material (PET or PETE). The bottle and container industries frequently utilize it since it is secure. Additionally, it is recyclable and simple to reuse and repurpose. Therefore, even if you get a single-use plastic item like a water bottle, there are several things you can take to prevent it from ending up in a landfill.

High-Density Polyethylene

It is a remarkably durable resin used for a variety of products, including shampoo bottles, playground equipment, lids, milk jugs, recycling bins, and shopping bags. It is thicker and tougher than PET because it is formed of long, unbranched polymer chains. Given that HDPE is one of the most easily recycled plastic polymers, most recycling facilities across the world accept it for disposal.

Polyvinyl Chloride

PVC, often known as vinyl, is one of three polymers that are particularly challenging to recycle using curb side recycling systems. As phthalates, which may be harmful to human health, have been connected to their emission, it has also been ruled hazardous. Backpacks, credit cards, household appliances, shampoo bottles, and other items can all be found to contain PVC. PVC is frequently used to manufacture even plastic wrap.

Low-Density Polyethylene

Low-density molecules in LDPE are what give this resin its thin and flexible shape. It can be produced easily and cheaply since it has the simplest structure of any plastic. It is not frequently recycled through curb side programs, despite being used in plastic bags, different receptacles, dispensing bottles, and most infamously for plastic wraps.

Polypropylene

One of the safest polymers, polypropylene (PP), has received FDA approval for use in contact with food. Because of this, containers for yogurt, cream cheese, butter, and other foods are frequently made with it. The polypropylene market, the second-most frequently manufactured commodity plastic, is anticipated to expand even further during the next years. It is tough and durable, can tolerate extreme temperatures, and is used in disposable diapers, vehicle components, thermal vests, yogurt containers, tupperware, and even clothing.

Polystyrene

One of the worst of the lot is polystyrene (PS), which Dow Chemical Company trademarks as Styrofoam. It is made of styrene, which is probably carcinogenic to humans. Additionally, it is difficult to recycle, so items like takeout containers, throwaway plates, coffee cups, and foam packaging typically wind up in the trash unless you can find a reputable drop-off place nearby.

Barriers in Recycling

Practically most plastic could be recycled. Though, several obstacles might thwart this procedure. Unfortunately, doing so is not always practical in terms of the environment, the economy, or technology. The following are some barriers to recycling:

  • Items frequently contain several layers and plastic kinds that are difficult to separate, making recycling labour-intensive and expensive.
  • Food and other items may often contaminate plastics, rendering the resins unfit for reuse.
  • Only until a significant volume of plastic is processed each day can be recycling plants, which cost millions to construct and maintain, become lucrative.
  • Due to poor efficiency and soaring prices, recycling lesser amounts of plastics may become unprofitable and uneconomical.

But resist giving up! Despite these obstacles, recycling still takes place, and amazing items are produced as a result. Most recycled plastic is derived from post-consumer materials. This implies that after passing through the proper procedure, the milk jugs, bottles, and packaging films that you discard in the recycling bin will turn into post-consumer recycled content!

 

How to Recycle Plastic?

Traditional Recycling

The most prevalent recycling process is this one. Another name for traditional recycling is mechanical recycling. This method enables the recycling of thermoplastic materials.

Plastics are often recycled by being melted down and made into new plastic products. Before employing an injection moulding process to create new objects, recycling businesses first melt the plastic.

Advanced Recycling

By using advanced recycling, plastic may be broken down via chemical reactions. Three additional approaches make up this technique. These methods consist of gasification, pyrolysis, and chemical recycling.

Recycling used plastic into crude oil is a process known as pyrolysis. Chemical recycling involves breaking down a polymer into a monomer that may be used to make new things. Manufacturers, for instance, use chemical recycling to create nylons.

Recycling techniques old and new both have advantages. The facilities available will, however, determine which of the two ways may be used. The recycling process is also determined by the final product a recycler wants to generate. Nonetheless, the recycling process is the same in all ways.

 

Numerous uses for plastics may be found in daily life. This article by Power Bear has described which plastic to recycle, and the advantages recycling plastic will bring to the planet. Therefore, don’t simply discard a plastic bottle when you’ve finished using it.

While recycling rates have risen over the past years in every nation, there is still a long way to go before plastic recycling reaches the same levels of material reuse as glass and aluminum. But with a little help from everyone, recycling will hopefully overtake disposal of plastic as the preferable option.

Inspire your staff to Recycle at Work

Inspire your staff to Recycle at Work with Power Bear by German Distribution LLC

It’s a smart business decision to choose to recycle at work because it benefits both the environment and your organization as well as your bottom line. Paper, cardboard, single-use coffee cups, and other materials abound in offices. All this material is recyclable; therefore, it needs to be thrown away properly. It can be challenging to encourage employees to recycle, to know where to dispose of their garbage, and to know what can be recycled. As a result, we have created a list of suggestions for motivating people to recycle at work.

Recycling, even though it may feel like a burden, is crucial for preserving the environment. By spending less on the garbage disposal, you may save your business money while simultaneously lowering the quantity of waste that is dumped in landfills. You must contribute to the information of how to recycle at work.

 

Create a Sound Recycling Plan

If you desire a sustainable workplace, you should emphasize managing your trash in the workplace more. Of course, you can’t start a full recycling program until you’ve given the office staff the appropriate training. They won’t understand how to run your recycling program if they don’t. They will have a clear understanding of how to execute your recycling program correctly when you continuously teach them and provide examples. Please make arrangements with recycling facilities close to your workplace so that your recycling efforts are not in vain.

Make it Easy

Your staff won’t be likely to engage actively if they regard recycling as merely another duty to add to their already full calendars. Make recycling quick and simple for your staff members as a result. Making sure there is always room in the recycling bins so that it is not difficult to fit fresh stuff inside is a simple approach to do this. You may wish to use a dumpster rental if you anticipate a sudden inflow of recyclables to ensure there is adequate room.

Consistency

Corporate recycling initiatives frequently fail due to a lack of consistency. While programs could start well, neglecting them can lead to issues like damaged or missing recycling bins, a lack of staff motivation, and other difficulties. This will hinder your mission to recycle at work.

It is a great idea to appoint someone to oversee the recycling program at your business to assist in combat this. This person will be able to respond to inquiries, guarantee that the necessary materials are on hand, and maintain the program’s efficiency for many decades to come.

Create Incentives

Rewards and recognition are undeniably powerful motivators. The development of incentive systems is another strategy for encouraging staff to recycle. This can entail creating competitive activities that promote recycling and creating teams for the workplace. Depending on the outcome after a certain amount of time, the winning team may be awarded a trophy or praise. Or the entire workplace might cooperate and make efforts to achieve common objectives.

Another effective incentive is goal setting, which provides employees with guidance and a concrete task to complete. Employees may be able to track minor objectives for a workplace recycling program, such as how many pages were printed daily and how many were double-sided, etc.

Make it Accessible

Companies should work to integrate recycling initiatives into regular operations and simplify their recycling procedures. Making these adjustments might be simple as well. For instance, managers can put recycling bins in practical and useful spots such as beside toilets and exits. For the proper products to end up in the right areas, recycling containers should also have visible labels.

When it is time for pick-up, this will also make things simpler for recycling providers. Most individuals wish to act morally. However, something as straightforward as recycling could be disregarded in the rush and bustle of daily life. Businesses should commit to reducing waste and increasing recycling in every manner feasible.

Staff Training for Recycle at Work

Deciding what may and cannot be recycled is frequently challenging and recycling itself is famously complex. However, you will be able to recycle a lot more of your garbage if you can provide your team with the proper training and instil in them the value of recycling. While not every item of packaging will have a label, it’s a wonderful place to start and doesn’t imply you can’t recycle it. Instead, concentrate on coaching your team to comprehend packing labels.

Create Mass Recycling Programs

Ask about the possibilities of a combined recycling format if your workplace is in a large building. If there is a substantial amount of waste, you can use waste equipment rental and commercial trash compactors. Other recycling businesses may pick up trash from your location. However, they typically also take substantial amounts. To recycle from your building or society, attempt to unite your efforts.

Build a Paperless Office

Start promoting a paperless office as one more approach to transition to a sustainable workplace. Although going paperless is not straightforward, it may be rewarding. This adjustment might seem uncomfortable when you first start it, but if you finish it, you’ll realize that it’s far handier for you in the long term. You may view your pertinent work papers from anywhere after you convert them to digital form.

Additionally, eliminating paper from your workplace lowers the fire risk it creates. This procedure can be completed one step at a time. It might be challenging, but once you get going, you’ll discover that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is much simpler.

Promote Reusing

It’s advisable to utilize reusable silverware rather than filling your kitchen or workplace cupboard with a lot of disposable cutleries. There is just one recycling process for disposable plates, glasses, and other cutlery made from recycled materials. After that, they become rubbish that you once again use to pollute the environment.

Reusable silverware can be kept in your workplace pantry, which is much easier. All you must do to get them back in working order is clean them after use. Additionally, if you have reusable cutlery handy, you won’t need to continually spend money to replenish your plastic silverware.

Add Office Plants

Purchasing additional workplace plants is one way you can make it more enjoyable for your staff while also encouraging them to be more environmentally conscientious. Your office will seem more cheerful if you encourage your staff to grow indoor plants. Indoor plants can add beauty to any environment, making it more pleasant to be in.

They not only add beauty to any room, but they may also aid your office’s indoor air quality. Air pollution can be rife because your office is in the centre of a major city or hub. As a result, you should make investments to enhance your office’s interior air quality.

 

To wrap it up,

Recycling at work has several advantages in addition to being a sustainable habit. It raises staff morale and boosts the reputation of your business. There will first need to be an effort. Reuse, reduce, and recycle will eventually become part of your company’s culture.

10 tips for an Eco-Friendly Campus

10 tips for an Eco-Friendly Campus

How Can You Have an Eco-Friendly Campus?

It’s possible that individuals don’t spend the majority of their time worrying about the environment. But the reality is that local ecosystems are impacted wherever there are people. Campuses are no exception to this.

In fact, it’s likely that campuses will wind up creating far more garbage than other forms of housing, just by virtue of the large populations they serve. After all, the start of the school year can result in population increases of tens of thousands in certain locations!

How can you contribute to the development of a more sustainable campus by incorporating a little green thinking into your daily life? Here are ten ideas for getting going:

  1. Conduct Waste Audit

Different parts of the campus will generate various amounts and kinds of garbage. You may better understand the waste streams you need to address and where they are most prevalent by conducting a waste management audit.

The location of your trash and recycling containers should be determined using the findings of your waste management audit. The audit will also assist in reducing wasteful spending and enhancing performance in relation to your eco friendly campus recycling objectives.

  1. Recycling Programs

One of the most efficient and environmentally friendly methods to minimize trash and benefit the environment is recycling. If the recycling program isn’t already up and running, one can speak with nearby recyclers to get suggestions on how to start one at a university.

Recycling containers must be positioned in densely populated areas with heavy traffic. Students will be able to view and use them more this way.

  1. Sustainability Club

On your campus, there is undoubtedly some sort of green group or organization. You may take part. First of all, being around those who share your views is beneficial. You may benefit from one another’s knowledge and exchange information and helpful connections. Additionally, it’s a fantastic opportunity to make new friends and maintain your drive to improve.

Second, it helps with college campaigning for green policies. You might gather signatures and submit a proposal, for instance, if you have a plan or idea on how to make the campus more environmentally friendly. Colleges are willing to hear you out, and perhaps you’ll end up having a significant impact.

  1. Go Digital

While there are still many of these products circulating around college campuses, there has been a shift toward doing things more digitally, which is tremendously aided by the electronics we carry about with us every day. Utilize technology wherever feasible to cut down on paper use. Only print things out if you absolutely need to and take notes on your computer instead.

The environment benefits from using less paper since we will cut fewer trees as a result. Every chance should be used by colleges to replace paper with technology. Exams can, in some cases, be taken online rather than on paper.

  1. Choose Efficient Lighting

Making the usage of power sustainable is the next stage. Switching to LED or CFL lights, which use less energy and last longer, should be done first. Another choice is to program an automated on/off mechanism to prevent the light from being utilized while nobody is around. The campus may choose to use solar energy and generate its own electricity, although such a change may require significant up-front costs and effort.

A major improvement may be as easy as adding reminders to switch off the lights when not in use.

  1. Avoid Using Disposable Items

Plastic forks, cups, water bottles, spoons, and other throwaway objects that are used once and then thrown in the garbage are among the major producers of waste. Paper-based items are often biodegradable, but most throwaway plastic items aren’t. They can therefore remain in dumps for hundreds of years before decomposing.

Instead of purchasing water every time you leave the house, you may invest in a lovely reusable water bottle. To urge everyone to support a more sustainable and eco-friendly campus, several institutions have even outlawed the sale of bottled water on their campuses.

  1. Start Minimalistic Lifestyle

Adopting a minimalist lifestyle is one of the best ways to live sustainably. This means that you should only purchase novel items when you need them. Do you really need a new party outfit? Consider switching outfits with a companion for the evening.

Living simply while in college may be a terrific way to get ready for the years to come, when things really do start to accumulate.

  1. Purchase Used Products

Although most dorm rooms for students are semi-furnished, you might want to add a few more things, like a rug, some artwork, or even a couch, to make the space seem cosier. For this to be done in a sustainable manner, there are three key things to keep in mind.

Initially, purchase used goods. This entails providing anything with a long lifespan a fresh start. Second, if at all feasible, make your purchases locally rather than having them sent. As opposed to shipping from outside the city, this supports the local economy and reduces carbon emissions. Third, when you go, sell everything you no longer need or give it to a noble cause.

  1. Creating Special Campaigns for Eco-Friendly Campus

Teaching people how to construct eco-friendly environments is one of the finest methods to become environmentally conscious. All students at the institution are eligible to participate in events like tree planting and city cleaning. Colleges can also provide students with the chance to discuss how to establish a sustainable environment with one another and with the administration. Students will learn about becoming more environmentally friendly from the administration and from their fellow students.

  1. Get Involved

Learn what your school does to lessen its influence on the environment and how it might assist local eco-friendly projects. Check to see if it has a homepage for the Office of Sustainability that details its achievements, objectives, and campus-specific advice for faculty and employees. Or even think about founding or joining green organizations, campaigns, and events.

 

Conclusion

Utilizing a resolute recycling committee, raise awareness of your school’s recycling objectives. To spread the message and inspire people to participate in achieving those goals, create posters, schedule e-newsletters, or add a recycling section to the student newspaper.

It need not be too difficult to lead a greener lifestyle. Even the simplest details count, like not wasting water or shopping second-hand. Reduce, reuse, and recycle is the simple golden rule. Additionally, all of that will result in long-term financial savings.

Reach out to Power Bear Designer Bins to implement your eco-friendly campus practices.