Plastic film, which is used to make a variety of bags and wraps, is ubiquitous in our daily life. Plastic bags and wrap, in part due to their convenience and abundance, are frequently used in excess, discarded, buried in landfills, or strewn in our streets, natural areas, and surface waters.
Also Read: Plastic Waste Management
There are simple and cost-effective techniques to prevent waste and realize the benefits after the initial use of plastic bags and wrap. Bags and wrap can be reused or recycled by individuals and businesses who utilize them in excess. Industrial shrink wrap, which is used in packaging, can be recycled and is in high demand as a raw material by manufacturers. Individuals, schools, non-profits, corporations, and communities can recycle plastic bags and wrap or support local recycling initiatives by collecting them. The Wrap Recycling Action Project, or WRAP, is one way to get involved.
REUSE PLASTIC BAGS AND MINIMIZE THE AMOUNT OF BAGS YOU USE.
The greatest way to reduce plastic waste is to reduce the usage of single-use plastics in your daily life. You can do the following steps:
- Reduce your use of throwaway shopping bags by shopping using a reusable bag or container.
- Plastic bags that have been used previously can be reused for multiple shopping trips.
- Garbage liners and pet waste bags can be made from plastic bags.
- For purchases that are easy to carry, don’t use a bag.
- Purchase items in large quantities.
Customers may obtain durable, washable bags at a reasonable price at numerous grocery stores. Using these bags on a regular basis can create less trash than paper or plastic, and washing them regularly removes dirt and germs.
MORE THAN SHOPPING BAGS CAN BE RECYCLED
If you have clean and dry plastic bags and wrap that you can’t reuse, you can usually recycle them at stores or other drop-off locations.
Many people are aware that shopping bags can be recycled, but did you know that other domestic plastic wrap may be recycled as well? This includes the following:
- newspaper bags made of plastic;
- sacks for produce
- wrap a piece of film around a piece of furniture or an electronic device;
- packaging made of plastic for paper items; and
- bags for dry cleaning
DIRTY PLASTIC CANNOT BE RECYCLED
It is impossible to recycle food remains on (or in) any plastic material. Plastics must be of acceptable quality in order to be recycled into new products.
Remember that recycled resources (i.e., your trash) must compete in the market with virgin materials, therefore quality is important.
Several organizations collect waste, remove food residues from bento boxes, and then transport the containers to recycling plants (since the outside material is generally paper).
The commodities are then washed numerous times before being chopped, reheated, and changed in some recycling plants.
But, most of the time, a “dirty” recyclable tossed into a public trash/recycling bin is deemed useless (i.e., too difficult to clean or unable to generate revenue) and thrown in with the rest of the rubbish that ends up in landfills or incinerators.
PLASTIC QUALITY IS REDUCED BY RECYCLING IT
To begin, understand that plastics are just polymers, which are lengthy chains of atoms “organized in repeating units frequently far longer than those found in nature.”
According to the Science History Institute, “the length of these chains, and the patterns in which they are arranged, are what make polymers strong, lightweight, and flexible.” To put it another way, it’s what makes them so flimsy.”
Only around 2-3 times can the same piece of plastic be recycled before its quality deteriorates to the point where it can no longer be used.
Furthermore, when plastic is recycled, more virgin material is added to help “improve” its quality, so that the recycled product can compete in the market against new, durable, and fresh goods. So, when you see the phrase “recycled material,” consider what the term “recycled” implies in this situation.Suggested Read: Swachh Bharat