Our Plastic Nightmare

While recycling programs are often touted to the public, the true numbers are abysmal. Sustainable waste management programs would benefit from today’s consumers participating fully in waste reduction and recycling programs. More than 80% of urban waste should end up in recycling plants, but less than one-fourth of the garbage makes it to recycling facilities. And for every one plastic bottle that’s recycled, another four will end up in a landfill. With recycling programs popping up in cities and throughout college campuses, there are many compelling reasons to recycle.

Although youthful consumers and students demand more environmentally friendly products and packaging, the piles of trash don’t lie. While 69% of surveyed college students supported increased trust of companies that deliver more environmentally sound products, people over 40 are 10% more likely to recycle than younger populations. But recycling is clearly worth the effort, with an extremely high return on investment.

If you recycle just one aluminum can per day for a year, you’ll save enough energy to power your television for four hours a day for six months. The rewards of recycling are high! There’s a lot to be done, but education, engagement, and consumer action is the first step. Check out this infographic for more information about the current state of recycling.

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Salman Zafar is a renowned consultant, advisor, entrepreneur and writer with expertise in waste management, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, environment protection and resource conservation. He is the Founder of Cleantech Solutions, in addition to being the CEO of India-based BioEnergy Consult, and Founder of Doha-based EcoMENA. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biogas technology, biomass energy, waste-to-energy and waste management. He has participated in numerous national and international conferences and has authored many articles in reputed journals and magazines. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability. Salman can be reached at salman@bioenergyconsult.com or salman@cleantechloops.com.

3 thoughts on “Our Plastic Nightmare

  1. We have recently commercialised a waste plastic (pp pe &ps) conversion into EuroV equivalent fuel. System starts with as small as 5 tons per day input with an extraction rate of about 80%. This is a commercially attractive recycling business. At present we are developing a model with joint ventures to undertake the recycling of waste plastic into fuel. The typical investment for a small unit of 5tpd is USD 5 million. Perhaps this could contribute to the needed solutions to our plastics nightmare. Adan Yusof

  2. the scale of economic activity through consumption of fuels like diesel for transport and plastics for packaging increases multifold when water is delivered at a price to the user in bottles and tankers…beneficiaries from this nature of economic activity have increased over the years and no visible effort is noticeable to substitute this mode of delivery by getting the pipeline network to work effectively and from supplementing or reinforcing existing pipeline networks for improved service delivery

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