Recycling is an important growing field in Egypt. And we always coincide it as a positive solution to our plastic problem, the impact of recycling is moving far beyond the trash bin. Plastic is a big source of energy waste on the environment, and recycling contributes to that impact in a very important way.
Plastic is made from petroleum, and every piece of plastic removes from the petroleum reserves. About 8-10% of the world’s total oil supply is used to make plastic. And of that, it is estimated that 56 million barrels of oil are used for making plastic bags worldwide.
The total annual weight of plastic waste is about 30 million tons with only 8% being recycled. In most cases, once recycling is trucked to the collection facilities it is then prepared to be reprocessed. And yes recycling does turn used plastic into new, the energy used in that process will add to our carbon footprint.
The Recycling Challenge
Plastic items have to be recycled with like plastic numbers. A tray labeled No. 1 (polymer: PET) can’t be recycled in the same group as a bottle labeled No. 1 because they melt at different temperatures. This increases the price to collect and sort the plastic. For this reason, many cities limit the amount of plastics they take in.
Prices for recycled materials have plummeted due to lower oil prices. Due to the cost/benefit analysis on the production of plastic, it is often less expensive to make new plastics vs recycle. This has lead many facilities to dump plastic in landfills vs properly recycling.
Every single piece of plastic ever created is still somewhere on our planet. Becoming a mindful consumer and buying less plastic is a great first step. Purchasing reusable items such as glass water bottles, stainless steel containers, and reusable cotton shopping bags keep single-use plastics out of landfills and the recycling center.
Stop wasting energy the plastic way. To get involved in going plastic free this July, head over to this site and sign the pledge. To learn more check out our resources page full of book, films, and articles.