Allowing for great versatility across a wide range of applications, the use of plastic goods has skyrocketed over the past 50 years. In fact, more than 300 million tons of plastic goods are produced and circulated throughout the world each year. Luckily, most forms of plastic can be recycled, and in the United States alone, there are nearly 2,000 organizations dedicated to reclaiming post-consumer plastics. Over 80% of Americans have reasonable access to a recycling program, and various efforts are underway to increase this number.
A highly energy-efficient process, plastic recycling can turn used plastics into ready-to-use materials using 88% less energy than is required to create new plastics from oil and gas. A wide range of eco-friendly products can be made from these recycled plastics, from residential housing insulation to protective gear for police officers and firefighters.
Although Americans recycle over 2.4 billion pounds of plastic every year, it still makes up about 13% of the total waste stream. To help ensure your consumer recycling efforts are as effective as possible, we’ve outlined five easy tips to keep in mind throughout your day-to-day routines.