Recycling For The Environment
Jul 9, 2018
Almost every product we buy these days comes in some form of packaging. This packaging is commonly used to reduce damage during transit, contain items securely and also for display purposes. While this packaging is necessary, the down side is it all needs to be disposed of in some way.
Sending your rubbish to landfills is one way of dealing with waste. However due to the nature of much of today’s waste, the time it takes for this rubbish to break down, the sheer volumes and gasses and chemicals released during this decomposition process this form of rubbish disposal has become extremely detrimental to the earth and all of its inhabitants.
Recycling is and environmentally conscious way to reduce the amount of waste that ends up at landfills. Choosing recyclable products and packaging and regularly engaging in the recycling process is something everyone can do to help make a difference.
Why Is Recycling Important?
- Landfill sites are overflowing, sheer volumes of rubbish are fast becoming unmanageable and placing unnecessary strain on our natural environment.
- Pollutants including harmful chemicals and greenhouse gasses are released into the atmosphere from decomposing rubbish in landfill sites.
- Deforestation reduces and destroys the natural habitats of hundreds of species of birds and animals as well as being a contributing factor in global warming.
- The energy required when making new products from raw materials often outweighs the energy needed to reuse or build from recycled products.
- Stray litter gets into our oceans and waterways causing havoc with our sea life and birds.
- Awareness needs to be raised around preserving natural resources for future generations.
The Importance Of Recyclable Plastics
Plastics are one of the most commonly used/created containment and packaging materials, and yet they can be the trickiest to recycle. This is because they come in so many different forms, and if even part of this form is unrecyclable, the whole thing has to be resigned to landfill and becomes waste.
Most new plastics manufacturing is built around oil-based compounds, which are not sustainable in the long term, drain the earth of precious resources and continue to increase in value as they become more and more depleted around the world.
Recyclable plastics allow the same materials to be used over and over again, providing a more environmentally friendly solution and reducing the impact on the Earth’s resources. The innovative production processes involved in putting recycled plastics to use often require less energy, less resources, less waste to landfill as well as creating new business opportunities.
What Can New Zealanders Do?
New Zealand currently lags behind the rest of the world in terms of waste management, and while some changes can only be made on a government/council level, others can come from our populations buying power.
Taking a proactive approach is important on every level of the goods to consumer process, producers, manufacturers, retailers and consumers all must bear some responsibility for stocking, producing and buying environmentally friendly recyclable products.
There are two main types of plastic in the market place today – Thermoset and Thermoplastic. Thermoset plastics are, as the name suggests, more strongly set and therefore it’s difficult for them to be melted down and reused. These are often used in electronics and toys.
Thermoplastic plastics are recyclable and are often used for packaging and food containers. They come in a range of grades, some of which are completely recyclable and others that are more difficult to recycle. Types 1, 2 and 4 are the easiest to recycle, look for these numbers when purchasing plastic packaging or products.
Make a conscientious choice as a consumer or producer, and only buy products with recyclable types of plastic. Support manufacturers such as Custom Pak who ensure all packaging products they produce are recyclable, and make responsible environmentally friendly choices.