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What Percentage Of Plastic Waste Is Actually Recycled?

07.04.2023 6 min read

Every year, around 380 million metric tons of plastic is produced on top of the plastic that already exists. This means that since the 1950s (since the introduction of plastic), over 9.1 billion tons of plastic has been produced. Unfortunately, this is a product that doesn’t break down or turn into organic material. 

This 9.1 billion tons of plastic can now be found in our seas, deep in the Earth, and even in our blood stream! Yes, microplastics have been found in our blood as well, hence showcasing just how problematic the issue of plastic really is. 

Unfortunately, only less than 5% of plastic waste is actually recycled. This means that out of the 380 million metric tons, only 19 billion tons is recycled, despite the fact that more and more recycling plants are accepting plastics. The other 361 million tons (8.645 billion tons in total) plastic ends up littering the Earth. 

In this article, we will take a closer look at what percentage of plastic waste is actually recycled, the types of plastics recycled, and what happens to the plastic that is NOT recycled. 

What Percentage of Plastic Waste is Actually Recycled?

As mentioned above, less than 5% of plastic waste generated globally is actually recycled. The rest of it ends up in landfills, oceans, and other natural habitats, causing immense harm to the environment and wildlife.

When plastic waste is collected for recycling, it undergoes a process of sorting, cleaning, and shredding. Then, it is melted down and molded into new products. The quality of the recycled plastic depends on the type of plastic and the number of times it has been recycled. 

On average, plastic can be recycled 2 to 3 times before it starts losing its quality and strength. It’s essential to understand that plastic recycling is not a perfect solution to the plastic waste problem. Recycling requires energy, resources, and financial investment, and not all types of plastic are recyclable. 

Moreover, the quality of recycled plastic is often not high enough to use in food packaging or other applications where hygiene is a concern.

While recycling plastic is a step in the right direction, we must work towards reducing our dependence on single-use plastics. We can do this by using reusable bags, containers, and bottles and supporting businesses that use sustainable packaging materials. Furthermore, we need to improve our recycling processes to ensure that the quality of recycled plastics does not fall as much. 

What Happens To Plastic That Is NOT Recycled?

Plastic has become an integral part of our daily lives and is used in a wide range of products, from food packaging to household items. However, the increased use of plastic has resulted in a significant amount of plastic waste, with a large portion of it not being recycled. This non-recyclable plastic ends up in our oceans, forests, and landfills, causing severe harm to our environment and wildlife.

This problem requires immediate action, and as individuals and organizations, we must take responsibility and make changes to reduce the amount of non-recyclable plastic waste we generate. We can start by making small changes in our daily lives focused on using our bags, bottles, and other plastic items as much as possible. The idea is to reduce plastic waste generation and trigger further manufacturing.

Businesses can also play a significant role by transitioning to more sustainable packaging solutions and implementing effective recycling programs. RECAPP is a company dedicated to helping organizations reduce their carbon footprint and focus on recycling via its products and services. 

We all must work together to find solutions to this critical issue, as the consequences of not addressing it are dire. I believe that by taking collective action, we can positively impact and help preserve our planet for future generations.

The Dangers of Plastic on The Earth

Plastic has become an indispensable part of our daily lives, but its environmental impact is devastating. From marine life to wildlife, the dangers of plastic are affecting all aspects of our ecosystem.

Plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose, and much of it ends up in our oceans. Marine animals mistake plastic waste for food, which can lead to injury or death. In addition, plastic particles are entering our food chain through the consumption of seafood, posing a risk to human health.

Moreover, plastic litter not only spoils the beauty of our natural landscapes but also causes harm to wildlife. Animals can become entangled in plastic waste, leading to suffocation or injury. Plastic waste also provides a breeding ground for disease-carrying pests, further harming wildlife populations.

Given the dangers of plastic, it is imperative that we take action to reduce its impact on our planet. One simple way to do this is by reducing our use of single-use plastics and opting for reusable alternatives. We can also properly dispose of plastic waste and support efforts to clean up plastic pollution in our oceans and communities.

As responsible citizens and organizations, we need to assume the role of stewards of our planet. It is our duty to protect the environment and ensure a sustainable future.

The Dangers of Plastic In The Seas

Plastic’s popularity has led to a significant amount of plastic waste that ends up in our oceans. This waste poses a threat to the marine ecosystem and the species that call it home. Plastic is not biodegradable and can persist in the ocean for hundreds of years, causing harm to sea creatures who mistake it for food or become entangled in it. 

Moreover, plastic has been found to contain toxic chemicals that can seep into the ocean and impact the food chain. This not only affects marine life but also poses a risk to human health, as we consume seafood that has been contaminated by plastic. 

Currently, there are countless businesses actively working towards pulling trash out of the ocean for better marine life and planet health.

The Dangers of Plastic In Our Bloodstream

Studies have shown that the harmful effects of plastic pollution are not limited to our environment but also extend to our health.

Recent research has found that tiny plastic particles are present in our bodies and that these particles can accumulate in our bloodstream and cause serious health problems. It is believed that these particles come from a variety of sources, including the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink.

The effects of plastic on our health are not yet fully understood, but they can be serious. For example, plastic particles have been linked to a range of health problems, including:

  • Cardiovascular disease, 
  • Reproductive problems and even 
  • Cancer.

Given the potential dangers of plastic in our bloodstream, it is important that we all take action to reduce our exposure to this harmful substance. This can involve simple steps such as reducing our use of plastic products, choosing products made from safer materials, and being mindful of what we eat, drink, and breathe.

Final Words

We must take action to reduce plastic pollution in the Earth, oceans, and other areas – which in turn will help us reduce its impact on our health. This can be achieved through measures such as reducing plastic use, properly disposing of plastic waste, and supporting policies that aim to tackle this issue. 

RECAPP is one of the leading recycling companies in the UAE, looking to promote the health of the surrounding Earth. From our recycling boxes all the way to our subscription services, we help individuals and organizations recycle paper, metals, plastics, and electronics to reduce their impact on the Earth. It also helps organizations make the most out of their recyclables and use resources efficiently. 

Browse through our extensive list of services or contact us today to learn more about how you, too, can make a difference!

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