Recycling Plastic Bottles

Recycling Plastic Bottles / Why Recycle Plastic Bottles when they are so cheap to make?

Plastic bottles can be found almost anywhere on Earth. This attests to the fact of their usefulness and to the ease and low cost in making these items. Indeed plastic bottles are so useful that almost any liquid beverage or food product can be found being sold in plastic bottles.

recycling plastic water bottlesBottled water is generally accepted to be a better alternative to drinking plain tap water and especially better than soft drinks and sports drinks.

-Photo to the left is by wine me up.-

But bottled water is not considered to be healthy for the environment. The part about recycled water that is bad for the environment is the plastic bottle part.

So why do we recycle? The practice of recovering scraps and waste plastic and reprocessing these materials into new products is called recycling.

Recycling makes use of materials that are at the end of their useful lives which otherwise would be added to the waste stream and end up in landfills or (sadly) in the ocean and on our shores.

Recycled plastic bottles are an indispensable and ubiquitous part of our lives. They are light in weight and almost unbreakable when used for their designed purpose. This is also the reason why plastics and plastic bottles account for a large part of the waste generated by our throwaway society. Plastic bottles are the most recycled plastic items but still the recycle rate is only about 24 percent.  

Recycling Plastic Bottles / What are the benefits to recycling plastic bottles?

Conservation of Oil. When a ton of plastic bottles are recycled approximately 3.8 barrels of petroleum is saved.

 Reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions. The substitution of recycled materials reduces the emission of greenhouse gases that are produced in the manufacturing of virgin materials.

Saving of Landfill Space. Not having millions of plastic bottles in the landfill results in a saving of 6.7 cubic meters of landfill space that is at a premium right now. Plastic bottles also take an average of 500 years to biodegrade.

Conservation of Energy. Water and soft drink bottles are made of polyethylene terephthalate or PET.  Recycling of one pound of PET results in a saving of approximately 12,000 BTU’s (British Thermal Units).

Benefits of Reuse. Recycled bottles can provide an environmentally friendly source of materials for the manufacture of new products and substitutes recycle materials for virgin materials.


Recycling Plastic Bottles / Is the Recycling of Plastic Bottles Economically Feasible?

Up to the present there is still continuing discussion and debate over whether the recycling of plastic bottles is economically feasible. Local government units and municipalities largely see the fiscal benefits of recycling plastic bottles because of the savings in landfill space and reduced landfill costs.

Statistics from a Technical University of Denmark study show that recycling is still the most efficient method to dispose of household waste in 83 percent of all cases. Critics of recycling often claim that more resources are wasted in recycling than is saved. However municipal recycling is still worthwhile if the net costs do not exceed the landfill or other disposal costs.
Sources

http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/plastics.htm
http://earth911.com/recycling/plastic/plastic-bottle-recycling-facts/
http://www.cs.cornell.edu/~djames/bottledWater/
http://www.timesnews.net/article.php?id=9022304

Find a place to recycle your plastic bottles near you…

Local/Denver http://articles.directorym.com/Plastic_Soda_Bottle_Recycling_Denver_CO-r1138515-Denver_CO.html
Australia http://www.wollongong.nsw.gov.au/environment/plasticrecycling.asp

For more information on recycling plastic bottles near you just input the phrase, recycling plastic bottles ‘your area’ in your search engine search bar. Or go to earth911.com.

For more information on the importance of recycling follow these links:

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