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Posted: 2/22/2013
Benefits of Recycling Plastic
By Sonia Nair
We all know that plastic is one of the most commonly used materials for recycling. This is due to various reasons and the main among them is the environmental pollution caused by this non-biodegradable material. Studies show that natural degradation of plastic takes around 100 to 1000 years. It is due to this reason and various other concerns, that the concept of recycling was developed. There are numerous benefits of recycling plastic.

What is Plastic Recycling

Plastic has emerged as one of the most widely used materials, across the globe. It is said that there are around 10,000 types of plastic that are used for manufacturing a whole lot of products, right from pet bottles, to kids' toys and even clothes. This resulted in a substantial increase in plastic waste dumped all over the world. Studies show that a major chunk of the global waste is composed of various kinds of plastic, that can cause a negative impact on the environment. So, plastic recycling was introduced, so as to produce new products from discarded plastic scrap and waste. In other words, such recycling can be defined as a procedure, which is used for reprocessing such waste into new products.

How is Plastic Recycling Beneficial

The process of recycling is basically aimed at environmental conservation. It is a common fact that recycling paper can save lots of trees that are used in manufacturing paper. Likewise, plastic being a major contributor of global waste, can cause serious environmental concerns. This is due to the non-degradable nature of plastic that makes it remain intact for a very long period. Plastic bottles, bags and other such products can be seen floating in the rivers, lakes and oceans. It can be said that such waste can be seen in almost all parts of the world with human inhabitation.
  • The first and foremost benefit of recycling plastic is for the conservation of petroleum, which is getting scarce. Large amount of petroleum is needed for making new plastic products and around 40% of the petroleum consumption can be reduced by recycling old ones to new products.
  • The benefits of recycling plastic include a reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases. In other words, greenhouse gases are emitted while burning petroleum and if the amount of petroleum used in making plastic is reduced through recycling, the emission of these gases will get lessened.
  • Even the landfill space can be saved through recycling. It is said that removal of one ton of plastic for recycling spares a landfill space of around 7.5 cubic yards.
  • One of the important environmental benefits of recycling plastic bags and bottles is that it saves animals, birds and a wide range of aquatic creatures from death due to ingestion of plastic. The chemicals in plastic can also pollute the soil as well as water.

It is said that recycling one ton of plastic results in saving the energy used by two humans in a year and the water required by a person for two months. It also saves around 2000 pounds of petroleum. Apart from that, various beneficial products are manufactured from recycled plastic. Some regions have come up with specific legislation, as per which, you may get paid to recycle. In short, plastic recycling is beneficial in all ways. So, stop throwing plastic and take efforts to promote its recycling.
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