Plastic pollution ‘in a nutshell’, what can we do about it?
Some 100 years ago, we discovered the possibility to harvest plastic from petroleum. Plastic has changed from a revolutionary material to waste. Kurzgesagt has shared an animated video about this. This can be found at the bottom of this message. The video is about plastic pollution, how this has happened and what we can do about it. Alligator Plastics contributes as well!
How is plastic pollution generated?
Because synthetic (artificial) plastics are so durable, they take between 500 and 1000 years to break down. This strong material is often used for products that are meant to be thrown away, such as packaging material. 40% of plastics are used for packaging.
What happens with this waste? 9% is recycled, 12% is incinerated, and 79% ‘floats around’.
Why aren’t we banning plastics?
Plastics can’t just be banned. An alternative for plastic does not necessarily mean that this is an immediate improvement. Some substances affect the environment more than plastics, in some ways. There is (still) no better alternative available for plastic.
Take, for example, a cotton bag as an alternative to a plastic bag. You could say that this is much more environmentally friendly. However, the production of a cotton bag emits more CO2 than that of a plastic bag. You would have to use a cotton bag around 7100 times before it will have a lesser impact on the environment.
There aren’t any alternatives yet for some plastic solutions. For example, food needs to be preserved longer. It is transported, remains in the supermarket for a while and ends up in our refrigerator or cupboard, waiting to be eaten. Plastic packaging is still the best way to preserve food. We can avoid unnecessary waste because of this.
Plastic pollution is a complicated problem. It is important to ensure there is global attention for this and that everybody takes responsibility. Together we can combat plastic pollution. What you can do, for example:
- Say no to straws
- Do your shopping with your own reusable shopping bag
- Use a refillable water bottle
- Choose products without or with less packaging
- Avoid products with microplastics
- Do not dispose of plastic waste in nature
- Contribute to recycling by carefully separating your waste
Our solution: plastic recycling
We motivate our clients, continuously, to recycle their products. There are several possibilities and techniques for the reuse of plastic. We have the in-house knowledge to help our clients to do this and to make the right choice. We have already started minimizing plastic waste in our factories by, for example:
- Reusing plastic on the machines, wherever possible
- Sending any small amounts of waste directly to the recycling-manufacturer
- Committing ourselves to Rethink
- Researching recycling possibilities for their products, together with our clients. We already implement these potential options and insights into the product development.
- Investing time and energy in research and developmental projects in the recycling field
However, plastic offers many possibilities. The material is very strong, lighter, cheaper, and offers greater design-freedom. Would you like to know more about the possibilities of plastic injection molding? Please contact us. We are happy to help you.