New Advances in Sustainable Plastic Use
The world is coming around to the fact that post-use plastics are not waste but a valuable material for manufacturing.
Reusing & Repurposing Plastic Waste
There is a lot of talk about waste in the plastic industry. People around the globe are trying to reduce their use of plastics. The most popular plastics hashtag is #plasticfree.
Plastics are an essential product we use every day. We need plastic to package materials that need to stay sterile, to keep food safe and fresh, for automotive travel, in electronics, to produce disposable medical masks for hospitals, life-saving medical devices, plastic syringes … the list goes on. We are proud to support an industry that makes so many essential items.
At the same time, we’re not blind! We see plastic garbage bags piling up alongside highways and on our beaches. We know that plastic that is not disposed of or recycled properly can pose a threat to wildlife and natural areas.
That is why we wanted to write this article to highlight some of the incredible sustainable plastics technology that is being developed to recycle, reuse and repurpose more plastic so that it never sees a landfill.
Champions of Sustainability
One company that has fully embraced sustainability and a full cycle approach to its products is Nike. With Nike’s new “Move To Zero” campaign, their priority is zero waste, period.
They are committed to designing waste out of their products from the beginning and to sending zero waste to landfill and incineration (without energy recovery).
The new Nike Cosmic Unity collection is Nike’s first foray into sustainable performance wear, fronted by WNBA star A’ja Wilson. The collection, released on February 26, uses recycled materials to create one sneaker design in three colors, an 11-piece apparel collection and a basketball. This collection diverted more than 4 BILLION plastic bottles from landfills by using them to create the polyester the collection is made from.
Companies like Nestle are also embracing new recycling techniques for plastic to produce wrappers for candy bars.
Leading the Way
The world is coming around to the fact that post-use plastics are not waste but a valuable material for manufacturing. There are so many factors at work to create a safe and healthy planet, including our willingness to pay a little more for the cost of recycling and reusing products.
New technological developments for breaking down and repurposing plastic will only lead to more innovative and useful ways to ensure plastic goes beyond a single use.
It is our responsibility as members of the plastics industry to tell the story. For more information on sustainability in the plastics industry, visit Plastics: Recycling and Sustainability
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