How is Plastic Waste a Resource?

Waste as a resource? Sounds a little confusing and contradictory, right? How could waste be a treasure? Most of us have come across the quote, “One man’s waste is another man’s treasure.” The same logic applies to waste as well.

So, how can we consider plastic waste as a resource? Here are the top 3 reasons.

  1. Plastic waste recycling contributes to a circular economy
  2. Plastic waste recycling contributes to economic growth
  3. Plastic waste recycling contributes to environment betterment

Plastic waste that consumers throw away is a means of livelihood for ragpickers, traders, recyclers and other scrap dealers.

Contributes to a Circular Economy

The circular economy is a concept that is gaining popularity at an exponential rate. Many big players in the industry are adapting to this through various programs and schemes.

Circular Economy

The linear process involves manufacturing, production, distribution, consumption/usage, waste. With the introduction of a circular economy, waste gets another life through recycling. Plastic waste works as a raw material in the manufacturing of new products. This reduces the cost of procuring new raw materials, lessens the exhaustion of natural resources, and reduces the cost of manufacturing.

Making products out of recycled plastic waste

Plastic waste is versatile and is recyclable into various materials as required. Recycled plastic waste is being introduced in the usage of several daily use products. A few products made out of plastic waste are:

  • Sustainable homes
  • Roads
  • FMCG products such as shampoo bottles
  • Bricks for usage in construction

Recently, UN-Habitat and Othalo collaborated and designed a housing society in Africa.

homes made of recycled plastic waste,Sustainable homes in Africa, UN-Habitat project
Image Source: UN-Habitat

The houses will be made entirely from recycled plastic waste. This project reduces construction costs, take less time to build, contribute to sustainability, and provide proper habitat for those living in rural conditions.

Contributes to Economy

The global waste management market size was $2,080.0 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $2,339.8 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 5.5% from 2020 to 2027. 

Allied market research

The plastic recycling industry in India is estimated to grow at a rate of 6.5% and attain a market size of USD53.72 billion by 2023”, said Vice President, M. Venkaiaah Naidu.

The recycling industry creates millions of job opportunities for the people in the informal sector.

It is estimated that the ragpickers’ sector has around 1.5 to 4 million people working in the industry. They solely rely on collecting, sorting and separating, and trading plastic waste and other types of waste as well. With such a huge number of lives depending on it, plastic waste surely helps them sustain their life. It is their daily means of livelihood. 

Similarly, the higher players in the plastic scrap industry, such as traders, aggregators, scrap dealers, recyclers and so on, also make a livelihood by trading plastic waste. 

Contributes to Environment

Plastic waste causes a serious amount of pollution on the planet. It has made its way into marine life and life on land as well. Animals ingest it thinking it’s food. By curbing the issue of irresponsible disposal of plastic waste, we can obstruct its way to those innocent stomachs.

A single bottle of plastic can take up to 100 years to decompose; time we cannot afford. Also, exposure to plastic waste in water, soil and other elements can lead to the release of toxins. These toxins eventually end up in the air we breathe, the food we eat, or the water we drink. They can cause serious public hazards.

All these severe outcomes can be avoided with conscious disposal of plastic waste and treating waste at its source. One of the best ways to treat waste is to recycle it. This way, waste contributes to the environment by not spoiling it.

On the whole, given today’s situation in the country, recycling plastic waste is one of the most viable resources available. Furthermore, it helps achieve social, economical, and environmental growth which also fulfils Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Recykal’s several programs contribute towards helping the environment and fulfilling SDGs. From consumers to businesses, we offer solutions for all through different schemes and programs. Check out our Smart Centre Solution and EPR services for your business. 

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