Plastic pollution has been one of the biggest problems all over the world. The gap between the number of plastic we use every day and the recycled part of it is bigger than we could even imagine. Being one of the advantages, durability of plastic is also its biggest shortcoming as it causes too many troubles for our planet. Natural decomposition of the products made of plastic takes too much time to be effective. Annually a great number of birds and living organisms in the marine world are die from plastic microplastic mistaking it for food.
Generally, plastic requires up to 1000 years to decompose in landfills, but one plastic bottle may take 450 or more years, which is too lengthy. Experts estimate that only 9% of plastic produced has been recycled, which motivates people to seek new ways to save the planet by reducing volumes of used plastic.
Many people all over the world think of how they can reduce the number of plastic utilizing and recycling it smartly. In most European countries it’s a common practice to sort plastic and other disposable garbage that will prepare it for recycling.
The process of recycling consists of several stages, including reducing the materials’ size, purification of the materials, and processing of the material into the format that can help easily recycle the product. As it is one the most effective ways to transform plastic, the world is moving to the new innovational methods of recycling step by step, trying to make it cheaper. This way, young activists like 23-years old Canadian Miranda Wang who runs Biocellection start up, are devoting their time and energy to solve the problem of pollution by finding new and supporting the existing ways of recycling.
Wang points out two relevant methods of recycling. The first one is about transformation of all the existing plastic items into new products. It is appropriate to wash, pulverize, and melt plastic bottles, which helps produce new ones. The effectiveness of such method, however, requires cleaning up plastic before reconstituting it.
The second recycling method that helps reduce the volume of pollution is pyrolysis. This method allows dealing with dirty plastics by exposing the material to high temperatures and reusing it for energy or as oils. However, it is not economical.
Studies conducted by US experts for the last decade reported that polyethylene can be destroyed by a catalyst like special bacteria that have a soil base, which destroys plastics. Currently there’s a new type of such a catalyst that can do the same but within a shorter period and is capable to influence plastics that is currently hard to recycle. According to Miranda, they have found the catalyst that takes less monetary resources and makes it possible to transform plastics into cells to be used as constituent elements for building new products made of plastics like nylon for clothes, soles for shoes, or used for various purposes in other industries.
Of course, recycling methods are not limited to the two mentioned. If people pay more attention to this issue, it can be solved before it becomes a global problem. The materials other than plastic or glass have all chances to be easily recycled at home. There are many ways that allow people to recycle different household materials like papers, for instance. In some cases, it is possible to recycle various things made of polyethylene, plastic, glass, metal, and other materials without even getting rid of them. Recycling can also mean finding a way to use anything one more time, which makes this process beneficial. Many people consciously find ways in which they can use the same things numerously. Thinking outside the box and a strong desire to save the planet from pollution can inspire everyone to find some practical or even creative ways to use the product again. Using aluminium cans again for home plants or in the garden, for instance, is more relevant than throwing them out. The same may be applied to plastic milk bottles that can be used for the bird feeders placed in your garden. As for metal caps used for glass bottles, they can be used instead of small candles to decorate a garden or a house. Polyethylene packets are not disposable, they can be used at least twice or even more depending on the usage and their strengths. Such small actions can not only save the environment, but be helpful for people.
Apart from it all, it is recommended to adopt a healthy approach to the question of recycling. For example, by buying the products that can be easily recycled such as tin cans or glass jars, or choosing eco-products that are already made of the recycled materials one can start making a difference today. In addition, having a recycle bin at home would be useful as it can help solve the problem of recycling before it becomes global.