Recycling Plastic Bottles
Without any shred of doubt, plastics do play an important role in virtually every aspect of our lives. This is because plastics are used to manufacture everyday products such as water and beverage bottles as well as lids. It is worth noting that the recycling rate for different plastics does vary greatly. This has resulted to over 2.8 million tons or nine percent (9%) of total plastics were recycled in 2012. During the same period, thirty one percent (31%) of PET bottles and twenty eight percent (28%) of HDPE bottles were recycled.
Benefits of Recycling Plastic
One of the main reasons why recycling plastic is quite beneficial is that the process of manufacturing plastics does consume lots of oil. As a matter of fact, the process of manufacturing plastics does consume about 17 million barrels of oil. If people resort to using recycling plastic bottles, the extra gallons of oil can be used to keep American cars on the road. In fact, it is estimated that these 17 million barrels of oil can be used to run thousands of cars annually. When a ton of plastic bottles are recycled properly, approximately 3.8 barrels of oil or petroleum is saved.
It is also worth mentioning that research studies do show that each and every bottle that’s recycled does allow for at least sixty (60) watts of electricity to be used elsewhere; this is a welcome addition to the national grid since electricity is also a scarce but very important resource which should be saved and used wisely at the same time.
Another advantage or benefit of recycling plastics is that it does help in saving landfill space. With slightly over 80% of plastic bottles still found in landfills, it is important to recycle plastics so as to save on the amount of space used for this purpose. Land is another scarce resource which should be used prudently, when you take into consideration that plastic bottles take a very long time (500) years to biodegrade.
When plastic bottles are produced, 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide is usually released onto the atmosphere. Recycling plastic bottles does therefore reduce these emissions. The subsequent substitution of recycled materials does therefore greatly reduce the emission of green house gases which are usually produced during the manufacturing of virgin materials such as plastics.
Recycling of these bottles does also help in the conservation of energy, because soft drink and water bottles are made from PET (Polyethylene terephthalate); simply recycling a ton of PET does result in savings of around twelve thousand (12,000) BTUs.
Recycling plastic bottles is by all means a noble undertaking which should not only be left to the relevant authorities but does demand that each and everyone make a concerted effort to help in this process. When doing this, it is important to keep in mind the following compelling reasons why this should be the case;
- Recycling saves energy
- Recycling bottles helps in keeping our environment clean and safe
- Recycling does help save on land space utilization and
- Recycling starts with each and every one of us