Benefit 1 — Recycling has positive environmental impact
Recycling plastics helps the environment by diverting ocean-bound plastics, reducing greenhouse gases and limiting energy consumption.
In 2016 the World Economic Forum made a dire prediction: that by 2050 our oceans could have more plastic than fish! That’s alarming. We cannot let this happen — we must get behind projects that divert those ocean-bound plastics. You can look at Lavergne’s project in Haiti as an inspiring example of how ocean-bound plastics can be diverted and processed for renewal.
Plastic recycling also helps reduce our carbon footprint. A 2018 study commissioned by the Association of Plastic Recyclers focused on three common types of plastics that can be recycled with current technology:
- Polypropylene (PP)
- Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and
- High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
The report shows how recycling plastics can drive significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption.
Specifically, the reports concluded that, depending on the plastic type, using recycled plastic resins can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 67 percent and 71 percent. When it comes to energy consumption, the savings were reported as 79 percent for PET, 88 percent for PP and 88 percent for HDPE.
Benefit 2 — Recycling reduces landfill
Nobody wants more landfill. Unfortunately, as our global population grows, the need for landfills also increases. The US Environmental Protection Agency says roughly 26.8 million tons of plastics were sent to landfills in the United States in 2017. That’s about a 10 percent increase over the 24.3 million tons sent in 2010.
Efficient recycling earlier in the disposal process could reduce these numbers greatly, since landfills are not always equipped to do the recycling themselves. Recycling also reduces the nasty side-effects of landfills, which sometimes leak dangerous products into the environment.