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Jan 28th, 2020 by Admin

What is plastic and why is it so harmful!?

Every year 300 million tons of plastic are produced – from toys, packaging materials, garden furniture to fishing nets, car tires, household goods, cigarette filters and cell phones – the world is full of plastic. 

When we talk about plastic, we are basically talking about high-grade processed oil. They are called plastics because they are not found in nature and are artificially produced. There are many types of plastics – rubber-like or hard plastics. Some are transparent, some are colourful. Plastics last a very long time. This is practical – but it is also a problem. 

Plastic does not exist in nature, it is a man-made product and our mother nature has not yet found its own way to break down the plastic in a short time.

It does not decompose like wood or other natural materials – they are ground into smaller and smaller particles (microplastics). For example, it takes 450 years for a normal plastic bottle to dissolve completely. 

That is a too long period. The plastic that we produce today, not recycle, will survive our children’s children.

Kid in the plastic bin

At present, the plastic packaging used is also a big problem. Transparent packaging can consist of twelve different plastics and is very harmful to the human body. It can lead to impotence in men and cause incurable cancer. The plastic eventually reaches our plates via the animal kingdom and thus into our bodies, where it can cause enormous damage. Mankind must slowly realize that with the contamination of plastic it poisons itself in the short or long term. 

When we talk about plastic, we have to distinguish between disposable plastic and recyclable plastic items. The reusable plastic and the disposable plastic are basically the same material, but we humans handle them differently.  Reusable plastic has a much longer life span in actual use. For example, a laundry tub in the household will be used for several years until it is finally thrown away after being broken. In the car industry, a lot of plastic is also used nowadays because it has certain advantages (wiped, malleability, no corrosion). The plastic that is used has a real benefit that other materials cannot compete with.

But it is different with the disposable plastic. Among them we count: ToGo coffee cups, plastic dishes, plastic bags, all packaging material and much more… The whole disposable plastic is mostly undamaged and still fully usable, but we throw it immediately in the garbage after we have used it once. The best example of indiscriminate plastic consumption can be found in the food industry, especially in the fruit and vegetable department. Bananas, cucumbers and even avocados are packed in plastic, although our mother nature already provides a completely natural and biodegradable protective layer (peel). This arbitrary consumption of plastic has become a trend. Because I believe there is nothing more senseless than wrapping a banana, which already has a peel anyway, in plastic again.

Banner and cucumber wrapped using plastic bag

The reason why our oceans are slowly sinking into plastic waste is because the recycling industry cannot keep up with the enormous plastic production. Every day 1000 tons of plastic waste are dumped in rivers and illegally in nature, because there are not enough collection points for plastic to recycle it properly.

However, there are already first recycling methods in this area. PET bottles can be used to make granules that can be used for the production of new plastic items. With the right technology, oil can also be recovered from packaging materials such as PP or PE. 

The world is slowly recognizing the problem and there are small groups here and there that are committed to protecting our planet. 

Plastic Collectors has made it its mission to do something about the pollution of our nature by setting up global collection points for plastic to collect and properly dispose of it. At the same time Plastic Collectors wants to invest in new and existing recycling methods. If you want to know more about how we work, check our website now.

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