Abstract: The world has witnessed various deleterious effects of plastic pollution on the environment be it land, water, or soil. Thus, it is pertinent for individuals to adopt effective plastic recycling techniques and use recycled plastic products, owing to their various environmental benefits.
By Shreeras Shetty
The prevalence of plastic use has been increasing at an alarming rate especially in food & beverage industry due to its various properties like lightweight, cost-effective, and durability. But the pursuit for convenience among people and businesses have adversely affected and depleted our natural source of resources, thereby degrading the environment in multiple ways. This is basically due to the rapid surge in urbanization, lack of stringent actions and plastic limitations in various industries, and sheer negligence in dumping and incineration of plastics. Thus, these distressing factors unduly jeopardize not only our surroundings but also the marine ecosystem.
Furthermore, intermittent disposal of plastic wastes can severely clog the drainage and sewage systems, which can lead to serious problems in countries having densely populated areas in case of severe rainfall and floods. Therefore, it is pertinent for people around the world to curb the use of plastic products by adopting effective plastic recycling methods and use eco-friendly, sustainable products so as to save the environment from plastic peril. According to a report published by Research Dive, the global plastic recycling market is anticipated to generate a revenue of $54,019.1 million by 2026, growing exponentially at a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period (2019-2026).
There has been a subsequent increase in the plastic recycling procedures by various government authorities, public and private sector corporations, and communities around the world; this is mainly in order to collectively combat the surging plastic issue by devising constructive strategies to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastics. In addition, various dominant brands and retailers across the globe have proclaimed to fabricate their plastic packaging completely reusable, compostable or recyclable.
What is Plastic Recycling?
Plastic recycling is the process of collecting numerous plastic waste materials so as to reprocess them in order to make them more sustainable and compostable, lowering the amount of carbon emissions. It is extremely imperative for industries to adopt various plastic recycling procedures in their operations, owing to a perturbing surge in the plastic pollution around the world. Thus, there is an immediate need for the elimination of traditional plastics from the environment through effective recycling procedures, since most of these plastics are not biodegradable.
Benefits of Plastic Recycling
Recycling of plastics can make an enormous difference in the conservation of the environment and can also provide various economic benefits to numerous industries. By abiding proper plastic recycling procedures, industries can significantly decrease the total number of waste output and consequently generate substantial profits through the sale of recycled plastic products. Some of the benefits of adopting effective plastic recycling procedures are given bellow:
- Helps in Reducing Landfills
The amount of waste generated by people around the globe has enormously increased, owing to the increasing population, shift in consumer preferences, and dynamic lifestyle among individuals. Thus, massive amount of plastic waste is generated in order to cater the varying demands of the people worldwide; this waste occupies a colossal amount of landfill space. Therefore, by adopting effective plastic recycling techniques, a great deal of landfill space is reduced overtime. This remarkably helps in overall waste management by saving a lot of time, energy, and cost while removing the waste.
- Reduction in the Emissions of Hazardous Chemicals
Although plastics have a variety of benefits, their manufacturing process are tedious and extremely harmful for the environment. A substantial amount of petroleum is burnt while manufacturing plastics. The emissions released during the manufacturing of plastics leads to the production of tremendous amount of greenhouse gases, which significantly affects various species around the globe due to its immense impact on the environment. In addition, greenhouse gases are the main reason for global warming and climate changes around the world, thus leading to severe rainfall, sudden increase in temperature, prevalence of heat waves, and many more. Therefore, by recycling plastic products, a great deal of plastic manufacturing processes is curbed, which further reduces the overall emission of perilous green-house gases in the atmosphere.
- Helps in Conservation of Natural Resources
The production of plastic from scratch requires a great deal of energy, and hence its manufacturing process requires a variety of natural resources like natural gas, petroleum, coal, etc. Extraction of these raw materials require redundant mining, which further contributes to environmental degradation. Therefore, production of materials from recycled plastic consumes a much lesser energy and consequently abstains the use of natural resources. This significantly reduces the number of mining activities around the world, and hence helps in preservation and conservation of natural resources.
- Helps Save the Marine Ecosystem
Plastic pollution poses a grave threat to the aquatic life in the long run. It is anticipated that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fishes. Thousands of marine mammals and seabirds are killed every year due to the ingestion of micro-plastics that contain various kinds harmful substances. Thus, it is of paramount importance that people considerably curb the production, use and disposal of plastic. Therefore, recycling of plastic essentially reduces the production of new plastic, which saves thousands of marine lives around the world.
The Way Ahead for the Global Plastic Recycling Market
The global plastic recycling market is expected to witness an exponential growth in the coming years, owing to the rapid adoption and increasing awareness about the intrinsic need for recycling plastic among people around the globe. In addition, increasing prevalence of stringent government regulations on the usage of traditional plastics due to its adverse impact on the environment is further expected to drive the growth of the market. But hassle in accumulation of plastic wastes and lack of knowledge about recycled plastics among people living in rural areas are expected to impede the growth of the market.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has had an adverse impact on the global plastic recycling market due to the nationwide lockdowns in various countries, disrupting the supply chain and product demand due to the temporary closure of industries. However, persistent growth in the research and development activities so as to create more sustainable, eco-friendly, and biodegradable recycled plastics to curb its impact on the environment is expected to create ample opportunities for the growth of the market in the upcoming years.
Shreeras Shetty is currently working in the content writing industry and has a Bachelor’s degree in management studies specializing in marketing. He is passionate about writing and is gaining a significant experience in the Market Research Industry. Outside the office, Shreeras is actively engaged in recreational activities like playing football, trekking, travelling, and athletics.